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Remembering Charlie Haden

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We're celebrating the spirited life and music of bassist Charlie Haden (1937-2014) who passed away on July 11th. We've included links to four archived interviews as well as our coverage of Mr. Haden's music from years past. Charlie Haden: An Analog Guy in a Digital World (2004) Born August 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa, Charlie Haden came up in a musical family. After moving around the Midwest, he eventually settled in Los Angeles playing bass with Hampton Hawes, Elmo Hope, and Paul Bley. A fateful meeting in 1958 with Ornette Coleman netted Haden one of his ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden: Last Dance

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For the past 30 years--barring a few diversions into classical repertoire, unexpected instrumentation like 1986's Book of Ways and a couple of home-cooked solo albums that, as with the 1986 recording No End (ECM, 2013), were out-of-character recordings where he overdubbed all the instruments himself--pianist Keith Jarrett has been working two contexts and two contexts only: solo piano performances that, with the exception of the home-recorded The Melody at Night, With You (ECM, 1999), have all been recorded live; and his Standards Trio recordings--in all but one instance featuring bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette--that, with the exception of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jan Garbarek / Egberto Gismonti / Charlie Haden: Magico - Carta de Amor

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Jan Garbarek/Egberto Gismonti/Charlie HadenMagico: Carta de AmorECM Records2012It's sure been a banner year for fans of the ECM label, with a slew of fine new releases from artists including guitarist John Abercrombie (Within a Song), bassist Arild Andersen (Celebration), pianist Tord Gustavsen (The Well), and saxophonist Tim Berne (Snakeoil). Previously out-of-print or never-before-in-print studio recordings from saxophonist Jan Garbarek (Dansere) and pianist Jon Balke (Magnetic Works: 1993-2001) are now back in circulation. And, for the first time since bassist Charlie Haden's duet record with pianist/guitarist Egberto Gismonti (2001's In Montreal, from a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Haden / Hank Jones: Come Sunday

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Come Sunday continues the dialog between two jazz masters--bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Hank Jones--that began with 1995's Steal Away (Verve). The topic of discussion concerns hymns, spirituals, and beloved tunes which are, without a doubt, personal and familiar to both musicians. Jones (the elder sibling of jazz luminaries Elvin Jones and Thad Jones) was the son of a devout Baptist deacon while Haden grew up performing in his family's radio show, which included country and American folk music. Though conversational in tone, the date's significance is understated--more than just two renowned musicians playing together. Recorded shortly ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Charlie Haden Quartet West: Norwich, UK May 19, 2011

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Charlie Haden Quartet WestSt Peter Mancroft ChurchNorwich, UKMay 19, 2011 The warm and sunny spring weather meant that queuing outside the venue was more of a pleasure than a chore for the jazz fans waiting to see and hear Charlie Haden Quartet West in the impressive surroundings of St Peter Mancroft church, in the centre of Norwich. Good-natured conversation, often with strangers, added to the pleasure and when the doors of this beautiful Norfolk church opened the fans soon took their places, mostly in the solid, if rather uncomfortable, pews. Quartet West took to the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Haden Quartet West: Sophisticated Ladies

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Gorgeous, poised and inviting. And that's just the sister on the cover of bassist Charlie Haden's latest with-singers-and-strings album. It's a retro design which, like the disc it packages, was inspired by Capitol Records' distinctive jazz-inflected vocal albums of the early 1960s. Your parents got off on this stuff big time back in the day, while you were busy listening to singer Bob Dylan and saxophonist Ornette Coleman and preparing for a little therapeutic rioting. But time passes and age mellows and even radicals such as Haden, in 1960 a member of the Coleman quartet which recorded the iconoclastic The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden: Jasmine

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Keith Jarrett, like Sonny Rollins, is quite hard to pin down. Like the iconic saxophonist, for many years now, the equally legendary pianist has been leaning towards the songs of his youth, and even earlier. Compared with their song choices of, say, twenty years ago, it would seem that these players have become more conservative over the years; that is, however, simply not true. Again, like Rollins, Jarrett's improvisations have evolved through the years, with an even greater searching and explorative quality. Quite uniquely, these master musicians use these older tunes as vehicles for their explorations; with these older songs ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden: Jasmine

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In the world of jazz, it's often said that “live is better." The immediacy and spontaneity of a living, breathing, and hopefully rapt audience can lend electricity to a recording foray. For pianist Keith Jarrett, this may be truer than it is for most artists. His Standards Trio, with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette has been an almost exclusively “recorded live affair," other than the notable exceptions of his initial 1983 session with the group that resulted in three ECM albums, and 1991's Bye Bye Blackbird (ECM, 1991). Jarrett is a famously intense artist, with a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden: Jasmine

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As close to a direct pipeline to the heart as anything, it's hard for music to be anything but intimate reflection of events transpiring in a musician's life. Pianist Keith Jarrett's last release--the stunning triple-disc Testament--Paris / London (ECM, 2009)--was, self-admittedly, impacted by the pianist's “incredibly vulnerable emotional state," but resulted in some of his deepest, most moving solo improvisations yet. Recorded in 2007, the year before the shows from which Testament was culled, the song choices on Jasmine--Jarrett's first non-solo/non-Standards Trio disc in 30 years--speak to the pianist's tenuous marital situation of the past several years. And yet, this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Laurence Hobgood / Charlie Haden / Kurt Elling: When The Heart Dances

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Man, this is a beautiful album. How could it be otherwise? An intimate, unhurried conversation between Laurence Hobgood, since 1994 vocalist Kurt Elling's musical director, and one of the finest jazz pianists out there, and the magisterial Charlie Haden, featured bassist in bands led by saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianist Keith Jarrett and guitarist Pat Metheny, among a truck load of other distinctions. The inimitable Elling guests on three tracks.

In his liner notes, describing the genesis of When The Heart Dances, Hobgood relates how, at a convention of the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), he was chatting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Haden Family & Friends: Rambling Boy

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There was a time when family entertainment often consisted of coming together to sing and play; when music was not just an oral tradition but a means of engendering familial closeness. A time long past, it contrasts with the contemporary reality of disenfranchised children, in no small part the result of a society where double incomes and relinquishing responsibility for raising a family has become the norm. Bassist Charlie Haden knows the value of family. Before he was the groundbreaking bassist with Ornette Coleman, leader of the politically motivated Liberation Music Orchestra and noir-centric Quartet West, and intimate duettist with ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ottawa Jazz Festival 2008: Days 7-8, June 26-27, 2008

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Days 1-3 | Days 4-6 | Days 7-8 | Days 10-11

Return to Forever / Charlie Haden Quartet West TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 26-27, 2008

It was certainly the most eagerly anticipated show of the 2008 TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival and, with 11,500 eager fans squeezing into Confederation Park, it was also the highest attendance for any show in the festival's 28-year history. Keyboardist Chick Corea's reunited Return to Forever is currently on one of the most talked about ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Haden: The Private Collection

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To commemorate bassist extraordinaire Charlie Haden's 70th birthday, the British boutique label Naim has released this two-disc set of vintage Haden concerts from the late '80s. Both shows were recorded in intimate settings before friends and family: the first a 1987 birthday gig in Los Angeles and the second a homecoming show in Missouri a few months later. The two dates feature bands that are basically Haden's bebop-focused Quartet West, along with a pair of superb guest drummers: longtime cohorts Billy Higgins (on disc one) and Paul Motian (on disc two). The set lists reflect Haden's broad ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Haden: The Private Collection

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Originally released as limited edition single discs sets, bass icon Charlie Haden and specialty audiophile label Naim Audio finally give The Private Collection broader release. Two CDs documenting two concerts with his then relatively nascent Quartet West from 1987 and 1988, it's also a dovetail to The Best of Quartet West (Verve, 2007), prefacing Haden's 2008 summer tour with founding members Alan Broadbent (piano), Ernie Watts (saxophones) and newcomer Rodney Green (drums).

The 1987 show was in celebration of Haden's fiftieth birthday, and features the original Quartet West line-up with the late Billy Higgins on drums. ...



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