Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny – Beyond The Missouri Sky (1997)

FrontCover1Beyond The Missouri Sky won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group. Metheny and Haden have a lot in common. They’re two of the most respected musicians at the vanguard of contemporary jazz, and they’ve worked together in Metheny’s own band as well as with people like Ornette Coleman, Abbey Lincoln and Michael Brecker. They’re both innovators who’ve blazed new trails on their respective axes. They’re also both from small towns in Missouri, which is the underlying theme of this collaboration. Essentially an acoustic duet album, MISSOURI SKY finds these old friends joining together to paint an aural landscape that evokes the wide open spaces and heartland Americana of the place where they grew up. The album mixes original tunes by Haden and Metheny with some carefully chosen outside material, including Jimmy Webb’s “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” and Roy Acuff’s “Precious Jewel.” All the tunes on the album benefit from the precision and grace of Metheny’s acoustic guitar and the thoughtful fluidity of Haden’s bass. Principally recorded at Right Track Studio, New York, New York in 1996. Includes liner notes by Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny. . Q (5/97, p. 122) – 4 Stars (out of 5) – “… some of the most elegant, eloquent duets you could wish for…” Down Beat (4/97, p. 50) – 4 Stars (out of 5) – “… Almost hypnotically slow and whispered, the 13 ‘short stories’ of BEYOND THE MISSOURI SKY have a cumulative lulling effect that induces relaxation at the least, and total stupor at best… ” (by CD-Universe)


The bassist Charlie Haden, who helped change the shape of jazz more than a half-century ago as a member of Ornette Coleman’s groundbreaking quartet and liberated the bass from its traditional rhythm section role, died on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 76.

Haden’s wife of 30 years, the singer Ruth Cameron, and his four children were by his side when he died after a prolonged illness, said publicist Tina Pelikan of ECM Records. (The Guardian)

Charlie Haden (bass)
Pat Metheny (various instruments, acoustic guitar)

01. Waltz For Ruth (Haden) 4.28
02. Our Spanish Love Song (Haden) 5.40
03. Message To A Friend (Metheny) 6.13
04. Two For The Road (Bricusse/Mancini) 5.16
05. First Song (Haden) 6.37
06. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (Webb) 4.05
07. The Precious Jewel (Acuff) 3.47
08. He’s Gone Away (Traditional) 4.18
09. The Moon Song (Mandel) 6.56
10. Tears Of Rain (Metheny) 5.30
11. Cinema Paradiso (Love Theme) (Morricone) 3.35
12. Cinema Paradiso (Main Theme) (Morricone) 4.24
13. Spiritual (Haden) 8.22