3.5 stars (but it’s really a 3.8 or 3.9)
Bassist Nick Haywood leads this superb quartet from behind, with a clear commitment to collaboration and spontaneity.
The group is well chosen. Guitarist Stephen Magnusson’s spare interventions intersect artfully with Colin Hopkins’ dynamically rich piano contributions, and Allan Browne’s drumming is always apt.
As Haywood intended, simple tunes develop complexity in the hands of this quartet, with exquisite renditions of The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain sure to test anyone’s addiction to vocals.
From the dreamy Tahdon to the ebullient Round Trip, this outing is testament to what can be achieved by giving capable musicians a push and seeing where they take us.
Count 1234 as a success.
Download: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
File between: Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny
This review appeared also in the Play section of the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper, Melbourne, on November 20, 2011.