Charlie Haden/Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Tokyo Adagio | Album Review

Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 00:00


Tokyo Adagio

Charlie Haden/Gonzalo Rubalcaba



Bassist Charlie Haden first heard Gonzalo Rubalcaba play piano in Havana in the mid-1980s.

The US embargo made it difficult for an American to work with a Cuban, but Haden was determined to bring the young pianist’s playing to a wider audience.

The great bassist, who died last year at the age of 76, particularly enjoyed the duo setting (with Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny and others), and his unique blend of solidity and invention, allied to infallible musical instincts, made him a perfect foil for virtuoso instrumentalists.

This live 2005 recording from a Tokyo club captures two friends in a soft- spoken conversation – a talented pianist with a romantic heart, and a bassist who had the generosity and empathy to help it to sing.