Slightly more demanding is the latest effort from Charlie Haden. Recorded in 1989 at the Montreal jazz festival but only now released by Verve, The Montreal Tapes sees the hugely experienced bass player accompanied by exciting Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Bill Evans's former drummer, Paul Motian, on six lengthy workouts. As is to be expected of a live recording, there are plenty of sustained solos, especially from the leader, but the set is well-paced and there is much to inspire - with Haden compositions, such as "Bay City" and "Silence" standing comparison with Ornette Coleman's "The Blessing" and Miles Davis's "Solar".
Few, however, can compare with Mississippi Fred McDowell, the extraordinary country blues guitarist who, despite rarely straying far from his farm, has had a huge effect on the development and appreciation of the idiom. Rounder Records has just released a CD of his first recordings - called simply that - as the latest stage in its project to put onto CD the whole of Alan Lomax's extensive archive of blues and folk recordings. Whether playing alone or with a small group, McDowell is on these nearly 40-year- old recordings, as with the vast majority of his material, simply sensational.Reuse content