Charlie Haden & Hank Jones
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Feb. 24, 2012
Charlie Haden & Hank JonesCome Sunday (Decca)
Finally, the long-awaited follow-up to the utterly sublime initial collaboration between bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Hank Jones, 1995's Steal Away, one of my desert island discs. Like its predecessor, Come Sunday spreads a gentle, soul-soothing program of traditional gospel and spiritual touchstones. Both Haden and the late pianist, who passed away at 91 shortly after this album was recorded in 2010, were reared in the church and had been playing this music their entire lives. The main difference between the two sessions is that here the tunes are shorter and more literally rendered, largely eschewing the more spacious and softly swinging interpretations found on Steal Away. That said, there's no denying the elegance and gentle beauty of Come Sunday, from the familiar strains of "Down by the Riverside" and "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" to the title track, a gem from Duke Ellington's jazz symphony, Black, Brown and Beige. Let the congregation say "Amen."