1. For All We Know
2. Where Can I Go Without You
3. No Moon at All
4. One Day I'll Fly Away
5. Introduction, I'm Gonna Laugh You Right out of My Life
6. Body and Soul
8. Don't Ever Leave Me
Keith Jarrett - Piano
Charlie Haden - Double bass
When this album was recorded in 2007, Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden hadn't played together for nigh on 30 years, since the break-up of Jarrett's American Quartet. Yet the two sound perfectly at ease with one another, perhaps assisted by the intimate setting of Keith's own private recording studio.
I have been dubious about the value of some of Jarrett's recent recordings - detecting self-indulgence in some of his solo concerts. Traces of that self-indulgence linger on in Keith's sleeve-notes to this CD, which describe how, after discussions with Haden, Jarrett "came up with ...the only perfect order of these great versions". Yet his self-confidence is justified here, as this is an excellent album which brings out the best in Jarrett.
In the opening For All We Know, Keith's piano is radiant, but Haden's mainly on-the-beat bass sounds stodgy and perhaps superfluous. Charlie contributes a respectable bass solo, although his intonation occasionally falters. This slow number sets the prevailing tone for the whole album, which largely consists of unhackneyed ballads.
In Where Can I Go Without You (co-written by Peggy Lee and Oliver Jones), the double bass continues to plod and you can hear Keith humming along to himself - although not as obtrusively as he sometimes does.
The tempo picks up slightly for No Moon at All and Haden's walking bass injects more propulsion into the proceedings. It is a surprise to hear the duo tackling One Day I'll Fly Away, a song which was a hit for singer Randy Crawford in 1980, but Jarrett is the right man to draw out its gentle poignancy. He doesn't stray very far from the tune but that's all right because it's a lovely melody.
At more than eleven minutes, I'm Gonna Laugh You Right out of My Life is the longest track on the CD - yet another slow number which allows Keith to indulge his penchant for lyricism. Body and Soul is also an extended performance, with Jarrett venturing a long way from the melody, which is suggested rather than stated. Eventually the ballad tempo is doubled: only the second example on the album of a mid-range tempo. Keith can again be heard humming along.
Goodbye is very slow - almost funereal - but the sincerity in the performance carries it through. The CD ends with Don't Ever Leave Me, a little-known Jerome Kern composition from the 1929 musical Sweet Adeline. It is another slow number but its thoughtfulness takes you along with it.
Having begun to weary of some of Keith Jarett's recent doodling, I was reassured by this engaging album that there's life in the old pianist yet.