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Charlie Haden- Silence
Nov 12, 1987
Original Release Date: 1987

Chet Baker/Trumpet & Vocals on "Funny", Enrico Pieranunzi/Piano, Charlie Haden/Bass, Billy Higgins/Drums

1. Visa (Parker) - 5:48
2. Silence (Haden) - 8:45
3. Echi (Pieranunzi) - 6:09
4. My Funny Valentine (Hart/Rodgers) - 5:39
5. 'Round Midnight (Monk/Williams) - 11:36
6. Conception (Shearing) - 6:00

The historical meeting of jazz's two prodigal sons, Charlie Haden and Chet Baker. Though underwhelming, the result is powerful. Also Haden's tribute to the then living legend Chet, with courtesy and heart. This is the jazz analogy of the B.B. King/Eric Clapton blues album Ridin' with the King. This CD is hard to find these days, so it makes the meeting all the more memorable.

Haden really knows how to control the tempo and makes it upbeat for the bebop sounds of Chet. For instance, the upbeat version of "My Funny Valentine" outscores the original. The inaugural song "Visa" captures the cool and funky West Coast sounds of Chet. Make a note that Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi really is a delight here. He's not showy, but capable enough to deal with the three lions: Haden, Chet and Billy Higgins. Higgins, an underrated drummer in jazz but practically awesome, shines here as the fourth leg of a musical table.

Gary Giddins says in the liner notes, "This is a dark and absorbing and, yes, beautiful record." I don't think it's dark. I think it's easy to see the light of day. With Chet close to his death, Haden brings the best out of him. To me, that is optimistic, lively, and most of all, paying a tribute to one of the greatest jazz characters of all-time. Haden knows.

Extended Listening

-Charlie Haden, Kenny Barron- Night & The City
-Chet Baker- No Problem


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