Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Farewell, Charlie...

Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, 
Montreal 2008
It's been a rainy day here in Florida, and such weather gave me a grand opportunity to revisit some of my favorite music by bassist, bandleader and NEA Jazz Master Charlie Haden, who left us last week at age 76 after a prolonged illness.

My clear favorites among the extensive Haden discography include two of his duet projects (Steal Away with pianist Hank Jones and Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories) with guitarist Pat Metheny), any of his eight recordings by the film noir-inspired Quartet West (but particularly Haunted Heart, released in 1992), and 2005's Not in Our Name by the Liberation Music Orchestra that he co-led with pianist Carla Bley.


In a May 1995 interview, the morning after a Quartet West performance in Rhode Island, I asked Haden why musicians sound so very different from each other, even though they're all playing the same instrument. His answer was simple and logical: Nobody plays the same because nobody hears the same.

There is a lot of very fine Charlie Haden material to savor in the aforementioned groupings on YouTube if your own collection is sparse.

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