Album Title: Heartplay
Performers: Charlie Haden (double bass) / Antonio Forcione (guitar)
Label: Naim
Playing time: 49'41"
Recorded: Californian Institute of the Arts, USA – June 2006

Haden returns to the double bass/guitar concept after the first experience with guitarist Pat Metheny in 1997's Beyond the Missouri Sky on Verve. This time Haden shares the studio with guitarist Antonio Forcione for a more intimate and relaxed album. Heartplay is a pure set of acoustic numbers equally split between Haden and Forcione compositions. Like every Naim release the quality of recording is gorgeous and delivers a great presence for each instrument. The overall ambience is very tranquil and calm as you'd expect for most acoustic guitar/bass duets.

The set of eight tunes features equal Haden and Forcione originals with one exception - pianist Fred Hersch's "Child's Song". Forcione's compositions are mostly short pieces focused on the melodic and lyrical features of acoustic music. Haden's scores meanwhile call for more extended improvisations from either instrument and allow Haden to reveal his stunning art of humming sounds punctured by bursting plucked accents in captivating lines often subtly highlighted by Forcione's echoing chords.

On "La Pasionaria" both musicians deliver beautifully virtuoso solos while the album is otherwise more sparse on fireworks. "Silence" in fact is very representative of the album's overall relaxed climate. Audiophile listeners will appreciate the harmonic extension, silent background and bass extension. It's certainly one of the better recorded album from among Haden's prolific discography. The fine recording technique and balance of the protagonists' game makes this one of the most intimate jazz CD I have in my collection. The bourbon flavour of the previous Missouri Sky gives way to a superb XO cognac essence of musical partnership. One more great result for the Naim label. Congratulations!