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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In My Opinion
I came to love Charlie Haden's work when listening to his collaboration with Pat Methany on "Beyond the Missouri Sky". Unlike the vast openness evoked by that offering, "American Dream" nonetheless creates some similarly intimate moments. Several of the songs are somewhat too shallow in interpretation. However, I didn't realize that for a long time...
Published on April 25, 2003

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dream too sweet for its own good.
If you marveled at the masterfully crafted piano/bass duo of "Night and the City," or if the evocative americana of "Beyond the Missouri Sky" sent you traveling through familiar yet eerily beautiful soundscapes, be forewarned: this one's made of different stuff . Listening to this recording, the adjective that comes to mind is "cloying."...
Published on March 12, 2003


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In My Opinion, April 25, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
I came to love Charlie Haden's work when listening to his collaboration with Pat Methany on "Beyond the Missouri Sky". Unlike the vast openness evoked by that offering, "American Dream" nonetheless creates some similarly intimate moments. Several of the songs are somewhat too shallow in interpretation. However, I didn't realize that for a long time because I couldn't seem to get past the title song. What lushness! How achingly beautiful are the strings with the bass, creating such a mood of mellow, it's ridiculous. After a constant diet of trak #1 for a week, I moved on to discover that traks 4 and 6 also held my attention for a long time. All in all, the cd is worth having in one's collection. Don't make the mistake of comparing it with some of Haden's earlier work, just take it for what it is, and be content to go along for the ride -- just don't expect any revelations. :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So DEEP....., October 24, 2010
By 
This review is from: American Dreams (MP3 Music)
I was just telling some friends about this CD and needed to look it up to send the link. I want to add my thoughts to the mix for review. This CD is not sleepy at all. This CD just kills me. The musicianship and heart of these musicians enable 100's of years of collective experience and talent thru an all star line up and then it delivers a depth and passion that can stop all the stupid and melt the angriest of hearts. I am moved at each listen and literally taken away to a special place in my mind where center and peace takes over. I love Brecker's voice on the music and feel back in love with Haden's amazing sound when I first heard this disc. I don't know why, but this music really speaks to my spirit with a very sweet voice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars America's Greatest Bass Player Plays America, January 16, 2004
By 
PhiloX "PhiloX" (Southern California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
Charlie Haden is my favorite Jazz Bass Player, starting out as the youngest member of the 1960ish extreme Avant Guard Jazz group Ornette Coleman, to mellowing out during the 1980's & 1990's with Quartet West intermixing famous jazz ballads with modern production. Lately Charlie Haden as been playing interpret settings with the newest generation of young jazz players, coming full circle where he is the old man of the duet, first with Pat Metheny & then Kenny Barron. This CD with his newest Quartet with Michael Brecker, Brian Blade, & Brad Mehldau, returns to the sound of Quartet West string section but with the freshness of his duets. At times the Jazz will get off the beat & sound rather abstract, but not as wild as Be-Bop. Other times the music gets a little too sugary, specially "America the Beautiful" which I heard twice & plan to skip at next listen. Other than that, this CD is well produced & plays clear & tight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and eloquent, October 20, 2006
By 
tselliot (Mill Valley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
I don't know how to explain this except to say that I was looking for new music and when I heard the title track

"American Dreams" I was immediately transfixed. Artistic Eloquence of this nature is far and few between for me. It's like a joyful day, the perfect lover or the ideal Sunday Afternoon. Not to say that I don't enjoy Charlie Haden's other albums, I do. But there are certain ones that "Do it" to me and this is one of them. The feeling is the same everytime: Timeless. The hour streteches, the day lingers and there's this sense of dreaminess. I'm addicted to this sensation and I can never get enough of this type of music. If you're looking for that quality in music. This is it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but elegant..., August 26, 2004
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
In short, this CD moves me every time I listen to it. I find it amateurish to call this CD "shallow," assumably because there aren't 1000 occurances of a Dominant7#9b13 chord in every tune, or Michael Brecker's melodic waves don't meander through Phrygian modes every 4 bars.

Negating the beauty of a musical work like this is both ignorant and egocentric; rather, this CD is, at times, nothing short of heavenly. The beautifully sparse chords that Brad plays over "American Dreams," supported by Brian's sustained cymbals and a hauntingly smooth orchestral foundation, keep bringing me back to listen again and again, never growing tired.

It's also refreshing to hear an a capella, jazzy version of "It Had to Be You" as Michael plays his usual melodic lines that slur up to the very high notes, reminescent of, of course, Coletrane. I especially love Brad's solo over "Travels" -- very different than Lyle Mays' solos, with a laid back, bluesy timbre.

For those seeking a more challenging tune in typical Brad form, you'll enjoy "Prism." And, although "America the Beautiful" is one of those tunes that has historically been played everywhere from a kindergarten play to an A&E documentary, this wonderful arrangement, coupled with Charlie's tear-jerking bass solo and Michael's sad, soulful, melancholy melodies unquestionably reinvent the tune.

Did I mention this CD is a must for every long drive????
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dream too sweet for its own good., March 12, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
If you marveled at the masterfully crafted piano/bass duo of "Night and the City," or if the evocative americana of "Beyond the Missouri Sky" sent you traveling through familiar yet eerily beautiful soundscapes, be forewarned: this one's made of different stuff . Listening to this recording, the adjective that comes to mind is "cloying." Haden's earlier effort, "Nocturne", had come perilously close, but "America the Beautiful" definitely crosses the line. This music is far too sweet, too syrupy, too shallow - the only exception, ironically enough, being the title tune, which exudes a kind of stately grace and an inner strength which I find quite moving (and for which I give this CD its second star.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny if just for Brad Mehldau's interpretation of America the Beautiful melody, August 13, 2010
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
Track 6, 1:21 -- 2:23
Ridiculously lyrical, amazing (as always) left hand.
Every note counts, and nothing missing.
Pop music? Blazing bop? nope, just amazing.
The strings? not so much,
But the piano work priceless. One of the best minutes of music on my harddrive.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars satisfying and relaxing work, October 2, 2002
By 
Jason Bunch "jdbunch" (Indianapolis, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
I am a big fan of Charlie Haden's edgier work. And this is certainly not Free Jazz or Liberation Music Orchestra, but it is satisfying nonetheless. I was skeptical at first considering the participation of a smoothy like Michael Brecker, but after giving this album a careful listen, I can affirm that this isn't another tedious smooth jazz release (hey, Haden is leading this show after all). Instead Brecker turns in some nice work ala Miles melodicism and the quartet functions excellently with tasteful backing from a string orchestra. What makes this album work so well is the measured application of each element. There is nothing overpowering here, and for this kind of release that is a real strength. Even "America the Beautiful" is rendered exquisitly by Haden & Co., simply due to the amazing restraint and use of space that allows each player to shine, without giving us another fist on heart rendition of this compostion.
The highlight here, as with any Charlie Haden release for me, is his own composition "American Dreams". It is basically a folk theme that resonates volumes in terms of the "American Experiance". It combines country with urbanity and jazz with folk in a way that only Haden and Ellington have ever been able to master. And while part of me wishes the whole album had been made up of like-minded compositions featuring a trio of Haden, Mehldau and Blade, the other part is happy to have a cerebral yet relaxing album to put on late at night.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching. Heard on the radio, February 5, 2013
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This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
Couldn't expect less with such musicians. Top quality of music. I do recommand this kind of music to anyone who likes that kind of jazz.
Sorry, I do not indicate friends addresses. Confidenciality matters.
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21 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it just me . . ., October 17, 2002
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
. . . or is Charlie Haden a little bit confused? Haden, who over his long, illustrious career, has had little positive to say about "Amerika," as he was wont to refer to it--even going so far as to chide Paquito D'Rivera for fleeing Cuba, that glorious workers' paradise, to come to this land of capitalist greed--has now put out, as it were, a tribute album to his erstwhile bane. It's amazing what a little terrorist action will do even to hardcore, unreconstructed bleeding hearts like Charlie Haden.
But you know what? None of that matters. Like that other armchair leftist, Dave Douglas, Haden's dubious politics have never prevented him from making glorious music, and American Dreams is no exception. Indeed, it may be the very best record Haden has ever made.
It all starts with the reigning world's best jazz rhythm maestros, Brad Mehldau (piano) and Brian Blade (drums). With each in top form, half the battle is won. Throw in three absolute top drawer arrangers (Alan Broadbent, Vince Mendoza, and Jeremy Lubbock), a world-class string orchestra, and some stunning tunes, and you've got the formula for one of the better releases of 2002.
Michael Brecker is perfect for this kind of project. Because it per se inclines towards sentimentality, his brawny, Coltrane-derived, no-nonsense approach often prevents things from sliding into syrupy stickiness. Case in point: check out his gritty yet wonderfully realized approach to Young and Foolish. When the proceedings appear to be headed toward musical molasses, he comes to the rescue with a totally clear-headed reading.
Brad Mehldau also deserves a good deal of credit. One of our more original and ideosyncratic jazz pianists, he plays it fairly close to the vest here without sacrificing his slightly off-center sensibility. I especially like his work on Ornette Coleman's revelatory Bird Food, for me, the highlight of what I'm coming to regard, after many listenings, as a magnificent CD. Certainly worth your while.
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American Dreams
American Dreams by Michael Brecker (Audio CD - 2002)
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