Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Always Say Goodbye
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
Listen to Samples
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Gavin Wilson | 05/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a pity we cannot award six stars to those masterpieces that we play again and again. This is certainly the best of the Quartet West albums I know, and I have five of them. I don't know what vision Charlie Haden originally had for the band, but they began by playing attractive covers of Pat Metheny tunes, but by the time they reached this, which is either their third or fourth, the concept had evolved into something else. They evoked the sound of Hollywood around the middle of the last century, give or take 20 years -- the sort of music you might expect to watch 'L.A. Confidential' to.There are many exquisite pieces here. Alan Broadbent, a guy I had never heard of before I bought my first Quartet West record, particularly impresses, both as a pianist and as an arranger. His arrangement of 'My Love and I' is simply extraordinary -- he designed it so that the band's rendition merges unobtrusively into the 1962 version performed by Coleman Hawkins, and yet the two versions are very different. Note that Charlie Haden had to raid his own record collection to find the Hawkins LP, which was then flawlessly copied to digital tape. It was a couple of years after the release of this Quartet West album that Impulse then remastered the Hawkins original for CD (and actually the remastered version sounds no better than this here).Other highlights: Broadbent's beautiful piano and Watts' soulful sax on the title track; Haden's gorgeous composition 'Our Spanish Love Song', where the band shows us that it can really cut a groove when it needs to; 'Ou es-tu, mon amour?' which again retrieves a version from the past (Reinhardt and Grappelli playing in 1949), but this time features an original artist (Grappelli) providing a new solo on violin, just 44 years later!There are a couple of mediocre tracks early on, but at least two-thirds of this album is pure gold."
A Fabulous Jazz Concept Album
Kenneth L Block | 02/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charle Haden (a genius in my regard) sends his astonishing quartet (including the redoubtable Alan Broadbent and Ernie Watts) into the world of "Music Noir." Taking its form from the seminal noir film "The Big Sleep," the album traces Los Angeles' and (may one say it?) the world's dark underside. Of course there is no doubt that the quartet will emerge triumphant. Using samples from period vocalists and the soundtrack of "The Big Sleep," the album is evocative of that long lost/never existed world of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. This is a must have for all those who are night owls at heart (irrespective of their sleeping patterns). In the words of the film, "What's wrong with you?" says Bogart. "Nothing you can't fix," says Bacall. Nothing the quartet can't fix in this case."
Saying Goodbye to the Best, Always
Rick Cornell | Reno, Nv USA | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this is my 150th review for Amazon.com, I used to buy my c.d.'s from the local "mom and pop" store, Soundwaves C.D.'s of Reno. It cost a few bucks more that way; but not only did the money stay in the local economy, but more importantly, ordering and purchasing c.d.'s that way gave me the chance to talk about jazz, music and life with Richard, the store's proprietor. The experience was worth the extra money, and then some.
Last week I went to order the newest from Karrin Allyson and Jackie Allen, and lo and behold, Soundwaves is going out of business. "Yeah," said Richard. "They wanted a 5-year lease; hell, in 5 years nobody may buy music via. c.d.'s. We may be one giant nation of MP-3's."
So, as a tribute to my long-time friend and fellow vocal jazz aficionado, I decided to buy one last c.d. And in looking in the "half-off" bin, I found this treasure, which I had purchased on audio casette when it came out in 1993 and loved, and bought it for $5.00.
Listening to this transports me back in time. I don't mean 1993; and I don't even mean the '40's, which is what this album intends to evoke. Here's what I mean:
As you now know (if you didn't before), the Quartet West--consisting of Ernie Watts (ten sax), Alan Broadbent (p), Laurence Marable (d) and the legendary Charlie Haden (b)--intended a "movie track for the mind", based loosely on "The Big Sleep". Haden and co-producer, Hans Wendl, interspliced old recordings of sorts into this album, starting with the opening scene of "The Big Sleep", ending with the romantic last scene, and in between, Jo Stafford with the Paul Weston Orchestra on "Alone Together", Ray Nance with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on "Low Key Lightly" (which technically was lifted from "Anatomy of a Murder"), Chet Baker singing "Everything Happens to Me" from the '50's, and the incomparable Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt on "Where Are You, My Love".
What a program! Although the Quartet West as a whole is sensational, this is Ernie Watts' album if it's anybody's. His tenor sax on "My Love and I" and on the title track sears through your mind like a Siberian wind. He sets the tone of the entire album, which is a bittersweet nostalgia. But it's even more than that:
Was there ever anyone as romantic as Bogey and Bacall? Goodbye to them.
Did any musicians ever play with more "gypsy" in their souls than Django and Stephane? Goodbye to them.
Was there ever a violin as sweet as Ray Nance's? Goodbye, Ray. Goodbye, Duke.
Did anyone ever sound more plaintive than Jo Stafford, or Chet Baker singing "Everything Happens to Me?" Farewell.
And was there ever as wonderful, as uniquely American, as a mom-and-pop store who genuinely cared about what it was selling to its customers?
That's life, I guess. It's about always saying goodbye....RC"