This week we would like to salute master bassist & composer, Charlie Haden, who passed away Friday at the age of 76. Haden began performing as a child singing on the radio in his native Iowa, but as he explained to NPR, childhood polio changed that:
“I think from being a singer, going into jazz and that’s one of the things that polio did for me is took away my ability to sing with a range because it paralyzed my vocal cords. So that’s when I started playing”. Haden channelled his voice into a romantic & lyrical style of playing in the vein of some of our all-time favorite instrumentalists, including saxophonists Lester Young and Charlie Parker.
Charlie Haden’s work with pianist Ornette Coleman in late 1950s Los Angeles made him an icon of avant-garde jazz. As a sideman, Haden performed with a wide range of artists and was the bassist for many of pianist Keith Jarrett’s bands of the 1960s & 1970s. After a 30 year break in recording together, Jarrett and Haden reunited and in 2010 released the incredible album, Jasmine. The two masters take on the great Cy Coleman/Joseph McCarthy ballad, “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life” which was first made popular by Nat King Cole.
In interviews and onstage, Haden often spoke about the artist’s duty to introduce beauty into a conflicted world. Charlie was a true artist, second to none.
Contact & Licensing Info
Written by Cy Coleman & Joseph A. McCarthy. Published by Notable Music Co. Inc (ASCAP) contact: Damon Booth firstname.lastname@example.org, Administered by Downtown Music Publishing contact: email@example.com and Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP). Master controlled by ECM Records