Picks and Pans Review: Haunted Heart

updated 11/02/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/02/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Charlie Haden and Quartet West

In love with old Hollywood movies, the noir-and-neon Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler mysteries and the bittersweet balms of the classic female vocalists, Haden created this one-of-a-kind album: a jazz soundtrack to a movie that exists only in his mind, a vision of sultry L.A. nights, rain-slick streets, perhaps a convertible rolling on...

The album begins with the orchestral fanfare that opened many Warner Bros, movies of the '40s, segues seamlessly into a piece of The Maltese Falcon soundtrack, then dissolves to Haden's band, Quartet West, playing the bassist's gliding, glistening tribute to Chandler, "Hello My Lovely." Period recordings by singers Jo Stafford, Jeri Southern and Billie Holiday then enter at intervals, surrounded by the band's own renditions of the tunes and of songs by Bud Powell. Glenn Miller, Charlie Parker and Alan Broadbent, the band's pianist. Tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts crystallizes the poignancy and sensuality that permeate the album, making it one unbroken reverie, a calming, cleansing journey into the night. (Verve)

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