Night Music: Charlie Haden and Chet Baker (w Enrico Pieronunzi and Billy Higgins), “Silence”

I found this tonight because my friend Angela posted a Chet Baker version of Elvis Costello’s Almost Blue that was overlaid on a series of black and white video shots of really heavy snow on a farm. It was lovely.

Haden and Baker are notable because they always slow things down. Watching Haden in concert is magnificent. For one, he always plays with great musicians. For two, he has this striking confidence that the music will win. It doesn’t need to sell. And so he tends toward slow tempos, tonal poems that often make you wonder why the drum is there at all.

Chet Baker is the epitome of the California cool jazz guy, except that he missed out on all the fun. He likes to let the feeling come out of the laggardiness (not a word). And it does.

I’m blue tonight, I’m working way too hard to make sense, and listening to these guys play a tune called Silence hits the spot. Turn it up!

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