[ON STAGE]Iowan-Cuban duo is all jazzThe jazz duo of the bassist Charlie Haden and the pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba will play the Seoul Arts Center on Saturday, after their scheduled show last month was canceled at the last moment when Haden fell sick.
The Cuban-born Rubalcaba first teamed up with Haden in 1986, when they played at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Haden - an established master by that time, having played in Ornette Coleman's early bands - ad discovered the young pianist when he went to Cuba for the Havana Jazz Festival.
Since then, Haden has been a regular accompanist on Rubalcaba's albums, including "The Blessing" (1991) and "Imagine" (1994).
Haden, an Iowa native, is known for his political leanings as much as his prowess with the bass. A band he created in 1969, the Liberation Music Orchestra, drew on socialist themes for inspiration, like Spanish folk songs from the country's Civil War era. The ensemble also dedicated an album to the revolutionary icon Che Guevara.
But Haden's radical bent had faded by the mid-80s, when he formed a Los Angeles-based band, Quartet West. Joining the bassist in the group were the pianist Alan Broadbent, the saxophonist Ernie Watts and the drummer Larance Marable.
Haden and Rubalcaba's gig in Seoul will showcase the duo's uncanny gifts for improvisation and interplay. While the two qualities are fundamental concepts of jazz, Haden and Rubalcaba are considered especially adept at them. The two are also well known for taking adventurous departures from familiar territory, and managing to make them work.
The most compelling aspect of the duo, in fact, is their interaction. The years they've spent playing together have engendered an uncanny knack for timing and intuition.
Of playing with Rubalcaba, Haden said: "We have developed an intuitive sense musically and spiritually. We've developed a sound that can only come from playing together for a long time. Today so many CDs are recorded by all-star bands that are just thrown together without much thought, or by groups with a lot of turnover so they never play together long enough to develop their own sound. We've become so close that our music is all about inspiration."
Tickets costs from 20,000 won ($15) to 70,000 won. For more information, call 02-548-4480.
by Park Soo-mee