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Come Sunday

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 10 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B005NEJM02
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,628 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

2012 release from two Jazz legends (bassist Charlie Haden and the late pianist Hank Jones), the follow up their 1995 classic duet recording Steal Away. Come Sunday is the pairing of Haden with legendary pianist Hank Jones for a selection of Christian hymns, Christmas favorites, spirituals and folk songs that explore these historical roots. Jones passed away shortly after this recording at the age of 91 but the artistry on display and emotional connection made by this duo with the music is nothing short of stunning.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xaaafe78c) out of 5 stars 28 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab032ac) out of 5 stars A fitting valedictory, rewarding to the extent the listener chooses to join a musical prayer by an inspired pair. Jan. 10 2012
By Giuseppe C. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When asked what he found special about a recently discovered 85-year-old, piano-playing resident of a Buffalo, New York retirement home, the champion of the hitherto unkown musician (Boyd Dunlop, the older brother of drummer Frankie Dunlop) replied that he was moved most by Boyd's sense of "fearlessness," which only an older musician would possess, a "musical bravery" that allowed him to play what he felt without any need to worry about listeners' (or other musicians') reactions. A similar quality is in evidence on this recording, but the fearlessness is of a different, quieter order. Hank Jones and Charlie Haden exhibit such courage in: 1. their selection of a repertory of "common" hymns and spirituals and 2. their minimalist, practically "devout" fidelity to the material.

On hymns such as "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Blessed Assurance" the pianist seems to take the utmost care not to be guilty of "jazzing up" the melody or of substituting more modern, "hipper" chords and voicings. The formula is usually: A. straightforward, reverential playing of the song the first time through followed by B. minimal improvisation the 2nd time around. Sometimes the formula is varied, with Haden taking the melodic lead, as on "Down By the Riverside," and occasionally either instrumentalist will play a mainstream, "swinging" improvisation on tunes like "Give Me That Old Time Religion." But such moments are necessarily abbreviated by the requirements of the song, and when Jones deems it inappropriate to risk a "boppish" phrase, he comes close to outlining the chords by arpeggiating them rather than using them as departure points for anything adventurous.

In some respects it's a daring approach in its very simplicity. While some reviews have compared the recording to the pair's previous "Steal Away" or to Haden's "Rambling Boy," other predecessors spring readily to mind, especially tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons' "Preachin'," consisting of Jug's playing hymns to the accompaniment of his church organist. Cyrus Chestnut also made the approach work on his version of "Sweet Hour of Prayer" but with more "modern" harmonies than any of those employed on "Come Sunday."

This isn't a piano-with-bass-accompaniment album but, as might be expected, a joint project with both men joining their "voices" in performing this familiar material, while remaining open to the discovery of yet deeper registers of meaning in these time-tested hymns and spirituals. If there's one hymn that this reviewer (as a piano-playing P.K) wishes the duo had included (partly because the melodies of "Nearer My God to Thee" and "Deep River," both played in Eb, are sufficiently alike to make one or the other expendable), it's the infectious, unforgettable "In the Garden" ("Oh, He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own"). On the other hand, the performance of the final Duke Ellington anthem, "Come Sunday," is at once so compelling and accessible that a listener can't help but wonder why it's not found in any Christian--or more ecumenical--collection of spiritual favorites. (Has anyone seen it in such a context, or even a communal songbook?)

In his last years it's apparent that Hank went to the "sustain pedal" more frequently as a means of compensating for any diminishing strength in his touch (even playing triple pianissimo can require exceptional control). But the more one listens to these ostensibly transparent performances, the more one becomes conscious of some of the pianist's unique additions--especially his employment of lower octaves and bass notes that would seem gratuitous with the presence of Haden. In each instance, his thoughtful additions advance the cause of the song rather than that of the performer or performance, making the hidden power of these spiritual prayers, invocations, and songs of thanksgiving suddenly surprise us regardless of how often we've sung them. But such moments also serve as reminders that with certain musicians it's a mistake to take as much as a single note for granted. Certainly neither Hank Jones nor Charlie Haden does.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By RBSProds - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Four and a half BEAUTIFUL Stars! Two jazz icons join forces once again to present sweet, swinging, spiritual music! Jazz bass virtuoso/leader Charlie Haden, (trailblazer with Ornette, leader of the Liberation Music Orchestra, Quartet West, and countless duos and trios) has been recording at a fast pace in the past two decades, as much as jazz piano virtuoso Hank Jones, (brother of Thad and Elvin, associate of Miles, Cannonball, Ella, and a galaxy of others) did in his early career where he appeared on dozens of albums (of the reported 60 recordings under his own name) and seemed to be everywhere. This sadly is one of Mr Jones' final recorded appearances, where the focus is completely on two excellent musicians playing beautiful music: traditional old-time religious spirituals, Christmas carols, a jazz classic, and a folk melody: all delivered with elegance, respect for the melody, and brevity. it is a follow-on recording to their excellent Steal Away: Spirituals Hymns & Folk Songs which was recorded over 15 years ago. From the simplistic beauty of "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", to faster tempos like "Down By The Riverside" with Haden's walking bass underpinning Jones' fleet improvisation to an ethereal "Going Home" (that my mother and her fellow students sang leaving grade school classes for the day), this is elegant, swinging music. And add in Duke Ellington's lovely, powerful spiritual "Come Sunday" as the icing on the cake. Perfect for early morning, late at night, or anytime between when you need some peace. Another great musician left the bandstand when Hank Jones passed at 91. Highly Recommended. Four and a half TRANQUIL Stars (This review is based on an mp3 download of 15 tracks; Time ~47 minutes)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab1042c) out of 5 stars Old pros, old hymns, lovely jazz accents make a winner... Jan. 22 2012
By William E. Adams - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I noticed only by accident that Haden and Jones had a new release this month. Loving their 1995 CD, "Steal Away" I had to purchase this sequel. Pianist Jones passed away not long after finishing this recording, and bassist Hayden isn't getting any younger, although he is producing wonderful discs in recent years, including "Rambling Boy" which recaptures his country music childhood. What interesting lives he and Jones have led. I did not think the duo could top "Steal Away" but "Come Sunday" is even better. If anyone ever throws a funeral for me, I hope he or she picks this disc as mood music. I am more a "new age" religion guy than an "old time religion" adherent, but musically, these mostly traditional hymns are far superior to the stuff sung in the metaphysical church I attend. If you like good jazz that does not stray too far from the source melodies, buy this album. It will cause you not only to contemplate life and its mysteries, but to smile and tap your toes and perhaps even to sing the words a little, although Hayden and Jones do not require vocalists to put the songs across.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaacb9c90) out of 5 stars It took 17 years... April 21 2012
By Jack - Published on
Format: Audio CD
but the masters came together again. The "Steal Away" record is one of my all-time favorites, in any genre. There is just so much soul in those grooves!

I was so impressed with "Steal Away" that I started sending copies to friends around the country. An ex-girlfriend in the Northwest was so woefully pre-technical that she didn't even have a CD player. I was disappointed I couldn't share my enthusiasm, but then she told me her husband works at a cancer treatment center. The folks who come in for chemo had made "Steal Away" their #1 request. That's high praise and an affirmation that I sent it to the right place.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab55ac8) out of 5 stars Magnificently Simple Jan. 19 2012
By Geebes - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Highly recommended! I am not so much into Jazz, but I do enjoy spirituals and I absolutely loved every note of this album. These songs are what songs of worship should be, there is so much soul. There is nothing contrived on this album. Nothing is overdone. Nothing distracts from the true spirit of the songs. It is a masterpiece that could only be produced by two extremely experienced musicians, who know better. Indeed, it was Hank Jones's swan song, as he passed away shortly after the recording. Just a bass and a piano, this album is magnificently simple.

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