More than three decades after the demise of pianist Keith Jarrett’s so-called American Quartet, he and bassist Charlie Haden were reunited in 2007 during the filming of a Haden documentary. That led to a few days of sessions in Jarrett’s home recording studio in New Jersey, which produced “Jasmine” (2010), a quietly devastating suite of ballads and love songs. “Last Dance” is drawn from the same sessions, and again is made up largely of standards, but its overall character is sunnier than the nocturnal melancholy of “Jasmine.” There’s a driving version of Bud Powell’s “Dance of the Infidels,” a bop classic, as well as a gently swinging take on Thelonious Monk’s “ ’Round Midnight.” More important, the intimate atmosphere and the effortless rapport between Jarrett’s radiant chords and Haden’s eloquently simple bass lines remain. Heart-rending versions of Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and Gordon Jenkins’s “Goodbye” that close the record leave a listener with a heavy heart.
ESSENTIAL “Goodbye”David Weininger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.