Skip to main content
Select Source:

Haden, Charlie

Charlie Haden

Bassist

Began as Country-Western Performer

Met Ornette Coleman

Collaborations Proved Fruitful

Selected discography

Sources

When he was 15 years old, Charlie Haden traveled to Omaha with his father to hear a performance by jazz saxophone greats Lester Young and Charlie Parker. The experience was a revelation; after the event, as Haden recalled to Jay Cocks of Time, it was pretty much decided inside my soul that jazz was what I was going to do. It was like having the music bom inside you. Over five decades later, Haden remained one of the most sensitive and innovative masters of the string bass, whose impact on both his chosen instrument, and jazz in general, continued to be felt. On saxophonist Joshua Redmans 1993 recording, Wish, for example, the veteran Haden teamed up with one of jazzs fastest-rising young stars. Redmans youthful ebullience blended effortlessly with Hadens seasoned musicianship, bringing jazz to a generation of new listeners at the same time it paid homage to an illustrious lifelong career.

Hadens playing of the 1990s, though firmly rooted in tradition, seemed far distant from the early history of the jazz bass. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the bass filled mainly a supportive role in the jazz ensemble, providing the fundamental notes of the harmonic structure and adding rhythmic momentum. During the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s, however, especially in the work of the great Duke Ellington bassist Jimmy Blanton, the instrument began to play a more prominent part in the ensemble texture, interacting with the improvising soloists and occasionally employed in solos.

Haden built on the contributions of players such as Blanton and developed something of a musical sixth sense by which he could follow the complex lines of many of the avant-garde players of the 1950s and 1960sespecially saxophonist Ornette Colemanand continually align his playing to what he heard. This unusual perceptiveness, combined with a richness of tone and an economy of meansin which one senses each individual note is significantmade his style instantly recognizable.

Began as Country-Western Performer

Strangely enough, Hadens early roots were not in jazz but in another uniquely American art formcountry-and-western music. His parents were regulars at Nashvilles Grand Ole Opry and became close associates with some of the venues most prominent names, including Hank Williams, the Carter Family, and the Del-more Brothers. When he was only two, Haden joined his parents on their own radio show, Uncle Carl Haden and the Haden Family; as the character Cowboy Charlie he sang harmony and developed a talent for yodel-ing. These early experiences were crucial to Hadens musical development. As he expressed to Bill Forman of Grammy magazine, The way [Mother Maybelle Carter] sang and played guitar had a big influence on me. And the Delmore Brothers were a real influence on

For the Record

Born on August 6, 1937, in Shenandoah, IA; parents were country-western entertainers; married Ruth Cameron (second wife); four children.

From age two to 15 sang with familys country-and-western act, Uncle Carl Haden and the Haden Family; began playing bass during teen years and in 1957 moved to Los Angeles and worked with saxophonists Art Pepper and Dexter Gordon, trumpeter Chet Baker, and pianists Hampton Hawes and Paul Bley; joined saxophonist Ornette Colemans quartet, late 1950s; worked with Coleman as well as with saxophonists John Col-trane and Archie Shepp, 1960s; toured with pianist Keith Jarrett, 1966; cofounded Liberation Music Orchestra with composer/arranger Carla Bley, 1969; helped form group Old and New Dreams with trumpeter Don Cherry and several other former Coleman sidemen, 1976; participated in a reunion of the original Ornette Coleman Quartet and formed Quartet West, 1987; performed and recorded with his own groups and with pop artists such as Bruce Hornsby and Rickie Lee Jones, late 1980s-early 1990s; released The Art of Song with Quartet West, 1999; released collaborative effort with Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba called Nocturne, 2001; released American Dreams, 2002.

Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, 1969; Grand Prix du Disque (Charles Cros) Award for Liberation Music Orchestra, 1969. and Ballad of the Fallen, 1983; Grammy nominations for Liberation Music Orchestra, 1969, and Dream Keeper, 1990; winner of Down Beat critics poll, 1982-96, and Down Beat readers poll, 1985-94, both for acoustic bass category; Newsday Jazz Artist of the Year, 1991; Grammy Award, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group for Beyond the Missouri Sky, 1997; four National Endowment for the Arts composition grants.

Addresses: Management The Merlin Company, 17609 Ventura Blvd., Suite 212, Encino, CA, 91316, phone: (818) 986-3985, fax: (818) 784-2524, email: merlinco@cwix.com.

my harmonic sense, because they were the first deep harmony in country music.

Haden began to perform on bass during his teen years and in 1957 moved to Los Angeles to establish himself as a professional musician. Anxious to absorb all he could from the vibrant West Coast jazz scene, he aggressively sought out a wide variety of groups and performing venues. As he told Forman, I used to go up on the bandstand at jam sessions and grab the bass out of the bass players hands and start playing. Soon he had drawn the attention of some of the greatest names in the Los Angeles area, including saxophonist Dexter Gordon and trumpeter Chet Baker.

Met Ornette Coleman

The direction of Hadens career was changed forever when he was introduced to saxophonist Ornette Coleman in a club in Hollywood. Born and raised in Texas and largely self-taught, Coleman obtained his early musical experience by performing with rhythm and blues groups. However, after moving to the West Coast in 1954, Coleman quickly traveled into uncharted musical terrain. Seeking to move jazz performances beyond the usual technique of improvising over a set harmonic pattern, Coleman began to experiment with more flexible organizing principles in his playing, including tonal centers and melodic motives. Haden sensed an immediate empathy with Colemans ideas, which became loosely grouped under the heading free jazz; as Haden explained to Cocks, Sometimes I would want to improvise on the inspiration, the feeling rather than the chords. And thats what Ornette was doing.

As a member of Ornette Colemans quartet, which included trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Billy Hig-gins, Haden helped shape the course of jazz history. A four-month stint at New Yorks Five Spot club in 1959 and influential albums, such as The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1960 and Free Jazz in 1961, brought the groups revolutionary approaches to jazz improvisation to a wide audience. The instinctive communication between Haden and the other members of the ensemblewhat Jazz Tradition author Martin Williams has called responsive inspirationassured a sense of structure and balance in these performances, without sacrificing their startling audacity and freedom.

Haden continued to perform with Coleman throughout the 1960s and later, in 1976, helped found Old and New Dreams, a group dedicated to keeping the spirit of Colemans music alive. Then, in 1969, another important phase of Hadens career began when, with pianist and composer Carla Bley, he founded Liberation Music Orchestra. As Haden explained to Down Beats Josef Woodard, the formation of the group was brought a-bout by the Vietnam War, by the turmoil that was going on in the world caused by United States aggression.

I felt I had to do something about it in my own way. The groups self-titled first album, a deeply emotional statement about freedom that incorporated themes from the Spanish Civil War, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1969. With some changes in personnel, the group continued to perform throughout the 1970s and 1980s and in 1993 staged a concert at New Yorks Lincoln Center.

Haden had always held a special affection for the atmosphere of the 1930s and 1940s so vividly captured in the novels of Raymond Chandler. Therefore, in the late 1980s, when he made his first venture as the leader of a small group, he tried to pass along the feeling of standing in Philip Marlowes office looking out at the neon lights blinking off and on in the night, as he expressed to Times Cocks. His Quartet West, which recorded four albums between 1987 and 1993, reflected Hadens fascination with a time when, as he stated to Woodard in Down Beat, popular music had deeper values.

The groups 1993 release, Always Say Goodbye, for example, opened with Max Steiners 1937 fanfare for Warner Brothers, and featured, along with contemporary performances by the group, snippets of movie dialogue and vintage performances such as Jo Staffords Alone Together. The use of these musical artifacts contributed both an atmosphere of nostalgia and, as Musician writer Tom Moon put it, guideposts to a world where emotionalism still lives.

In 1991 Hadens affection for classic pop music carried over into another project, Rickie Lee Joness album Pop Pop. On this recording Haden accompanied Joness performances of such classic standards as My One and Only Love, lending the tunes his sensitivity, passion, and sense of taste. The album brought Hadens work to a new group of listeners who were perhaps unaware of his long and fruitful career and his unique contribution to American music history.

Collaborations Proved Fruitful

Haden continued to play with Quartet West as his main project throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium. We have developed an intuitive sense musically and spiritually, he wrote in a biography on his official website. Just like the Modern Jazz Quartet, weve developed a sound that has come from playing together for a long time. The Quartet released The Art of Song in 1999. I wanted to gather together a collection of complete melodies that tell a story in the music and the lyric and that have rarely been recorded. Haden continued: Plus, I wanted them to be sung by vocalists who are masters at exploring the depth of a song. Id always hoped to work with Shirley [Horn] and Bill [Henderson], who are both singers who perform at the creative level of Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker.

In addition to vocal performances by the aforementioned artists, Haden makes his vocal debut on the album, on a track titled Wayfaring Stranger. This development was inspired by an appearance on National Public Radios Fresh Air program with Terry Gross. He sang Now is the Hour on the program, and Gross complimented his vocal abilities, telling him he should think about recording something similar on an upcoming album. He is modest about the results. Well, I really just talk through the lyrics, he noted on his website. Ive been looking for an opportunity to record this song [Wayfaring Stranger] for years and if my singing hadnt worked, I would have ended up playing the melody on the bass.

Haden released Nocturne, the latest of a series of collaborations with Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, in 2001. Haden and Rubalcaba first met in 1986, when Haden performed with the Liberation Music Orchestra at a festival in Havana, Cuba. The two musicians collaborated on Rubalcabas The Blessing in 1991 and Hadens Montreal Tapes in 1998. Down Beat writer Andrew Gilbert opined that a collaboration between the two was inevitable, given their similar backgrounds and sensibilities. They both possess profound improvisa-tional sensibilities and have always rejected stylistic boundaries. They are both artists in the grand Romantic tradition, deep souls on a quest for the sublime. The album earned widespread praise, hailed by JazzRe-view.com as a languid, meditative, headily romantic collection a slow and thoughtful album, so full of lush beauty it almost drips, but for the masterful control of emotions by the players. Rubalcaba underlined the importance of the album in Down Beat, Its important to illustrate the historic communication between the United States and countries like Cuba This doesnt have to do with copying, but with exchanging messages, concepts and ideas back and forth.

American Dreams, a set of all-new material performed by Haden and a backing band that included, at times, a 34-piece orchestra, was released in 2002. [T]he venerable bassist/bandleader paints a picture of the American experience with a set of compositions that, for a person immersed in jazz, are intrinsically part of this nations fabric. Haden was inspired to put together this collection of songs by the terrorist attacks on the United States that took place on September 11, 2001. I felt they all belonged together for a reason, which is to tell a story about people who are free to dream and free to follow their dreams. [The United States] should be viewed as a place that inspires people to be their very best. The collection features interpretations of the compositions of past Haden collaborators Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, and Keith Jarrett.

More than half a century after he first began performing music, Haden remains a relevant figure in the jazz music world. Francis Davis, music biographer and writer for the Atlantic Monthly, summed up Hadens importance in a single sentence: No instrument in jazz is more essential than the bass, both backbone and heartbeat, and Haden is its master.

Selected discography

With Ornette Coleman

The Shape of Jazz to Come, Atlantic, 1960.

Free Jazz, Atlantic, 1961.

Song X, Geffen, 1986.

In All Languages, Caravan of Dreams, 1987.

Beauty Is a Rare Thing: The Complete Atlantic Recordings, Rhino/Atlantic, 1993.

With Liberation Music Orchestra Liberation Music Orchestra, Impulse, 1969.

The Ballad of the Fallen, ECM, 1983.

Dream Keeper, Blue Note, 1991.

With liberation Music Orchestra

Liberation Music Orchestra Impulse, 1969.

The Ballad of the Fallen, ECM, 1983.

Dream Keeper, Blue Note, 1991.

With Old and New Dreams

Old and New Dreams, Black Saint, 1977.

Playing, ECM, 1981.

With Quartet West Quartet West, Verve, 1987.

In Angel City, Verve, 1988.

Haunted Heart, Verve, 1992.

Always Say Goodbye, Verve, 1993.

With Quartet West

Quartet West, Verve, 1987.

In Angel City, Verve, 1988.

Haunted Heart, Verve, 1992.

Always Say Goodbye, Verve, 1993.

Now is the Hour, Verve, 1992.

The Art of the Song, Polygram, 1999.

As leader

The Golden Number, A&M, 1976.

Closeness, A&M, 1976.

Silence, Soul Note, 1987.

First Song, Soul Note, 1990.

As coleader

(With Hampton Hawes) As Long as Theres Music, Artists House, 1978.

(With Egberto Gismonti and Jan Garbarek) Folk Songs, ECM, 1979.

(With Egberto Gismonti and Jan Garbarek) Magicio, ECM, 1979.

An Evening with Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, and AI oster, Red, 1987.

(With Geri Allen and Paul Motian) Etudes, Soul Note, 1988.

(With Geri Allen and Paul Motian) Segments, DIW, 1989.

(With Geri Allen and Paul Motian) Year of the Dragon, JMT, 1989.

(With Carlos Paredes) Dialogues, Antilles, 1990.

(With Paul Bley and Paul Motian) Memoirs, Soul Note, 1990.

(With Hank Jones) Steal Away, 1994.

(With Kenny Barron) Night and the City, Verve, 1996.

(With Geri Allen and Paul Motian) Live at the Village Vanguard, DIW, 2000.

(With Gonzalo Rubalcaba) Nocturne, Verve, 2001.

(With Michael Brecker) American Dreams, Verve, 2002.

As contributor

Keith Jarrett, The Mourning of a Star, Atlantic, 1971.

Carla Bley, Musique Mecanique, Watt, 1979.

Michael Brecker, MCA Impulse, 1987.

Bruce Hornsby, Night on the Town, RCA, 1990.

Rickie Lee Jones, Pop Pop, Geffen, 1991.

Abbey Lincoln, Youve Got to Pay the Band, Verve, 1991.

Joshua Redman, Wish, Warner Bros., 1993.

Sources

Books

Porter, Lewis, and Michael Ullman, with Edward Hazell, Jazz From Its Origins to the Present, Prentice-Hall, 1993.

Williams, Martin, The Jazz Tradition, Oxford University Press, 1993.

Periodicals

Atlantic Monthly, August 2000.

Billboard, October 12, 2002.

Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1993.

Down Beat, August 1992; November 2001.

Entertainment Weekly, July 17, 1992.

Grammy Magazine, December 1992.

Metro Times (Detroit, Ml), September 1, 1993.

Musician, February 1994.

New York Times, June 20, 1987.

People, November 2, 1992.

Pulse!, August 1992; October 1992.

Time, October 12, 1992.

Washington Post, September 27, 1993.

Online

Charlie Haden, All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (November 5, 2002).

Charlie Haden, JazzReview.com, http://www.jazzreview.com/cdreview.cfm?ID=3000 (November 20, 2002).

Charlie Haden Official Website, http://interjazz.com/haden/ (October 18, 2002).

Nocturne, All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (November 20 2002).

Additional information for this profile was obtained from the Merlin Company, Inc., 1994.

Jeffrey Taylor

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Haden, Charlie." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Haden, Charlie." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/haden-charlie-0

"Haden, Charlie." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/haden-charlie-0

Haden, Charlie

Charlie Haden

Bassist

Began as Country-Western Performer

Met Ornette Coleman

Founded Quartet West

Selected discography

Sources

When he was 15 years old, Charlie Haden traveled to Omaha with his father to hear a performance by jazz saxophone greats Lester Young and Charlie Parker. The experience was a revelation; after the event, as Haden recalled to Jay Cocks of Time, it was pretty much decided inside my soul that jazz was what I was going to do. It was like having the music born inside you. Over four decades later, Haden remained one of the most sensitive and innovative masters of the string bass, whose impact on both his chosen instrument, and jazz in general, continued to be felt. On saxophonist Joshua Redmans 1993 recording, Wish, for example, the veteran Haden teamed up with one of jazzs fastest-rising young stars. Redmans youthful ebullience blended effortlessly with Hadens seasoned musicianship, bringing jazz to a generation of new listeners at the same time it paid homage to an illustrious lifelong career.

Hadens playing of the 1990s, though firmly rooted in tradition, seemed far distant from the early history of the jazz bass. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the bass filled mainly an accompanimental role in the jazz ensemble, providing the fundamental notes of the harmonic structure and adding rhythmic momentum. During the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s, however, especially in the work of the great Duke Ellington bassist Jimmy Blanton, the instrument began to play a more prominent part in the ensemble texture, interacting with the improvising soloists and occasionally employed in solos.

Haden built on the contributions of players such as Blanton and developed something of a musical sixth sense by which he could follow the complex lines of many of the avant-garde players of the 1950s and 1960sespecially saxophonist Ornette Colemanand continually align his playing to what he heard. This unusual perceptiveness, combined with a richness of tone and an economy of meansin which one senses each individual note is significantmade his style instantly recognizable.

Began as Country-Western Performer

Strangely enough, Hadens early roots were not in jazz but in another uniquely American art formcountry and western music. His parents were regulars at Nashvilles Grand Ole Opry and became close associates with some of the venues most prominent names, including Hank Williams, the Carter Family, and the Delmore Brothers. When he was only two, Haden joined his parents on their own radio show, Uncle Carl Haden and the Haden Family; as the character Cowboy Charlie he sang harmony and developed a talent for

For the Record

Born August 6, 1937, in Shenandoah, IA; parents were country-western entertainers; married Ruth Cameron (second wife); four children.

From age two to 15 sang with familys country and western act, Uncle Carl Haden and the Haden Family; began playing bass during teen years and in 1957 moved to Los Angeles and worked with saxophonists Art Pepper and Dexter Gordon, trumpeter Chet Baker, and pianists Hampton Hawes and Paul Bley; joined saxophonist Ornette Colemans quartet, late 1950s; worked with Coleman as well as with saxophonists John Coltrane and Archie Shepp, 1960s; toured with pianist Keith Jarrett, 1966; cofounded Liberation Music Orchestra with composer/arranger Carla Bley, 1969; helped form group Old and New Dreams with trumpeter Don Cherry and several other former Coleman sidemen, 1976; participated in a reunion of the original Ornette Coleman Quartet and formed Quartet West, 1987; performed and recorded with his own groups and with pop artists such as Bruce Hornsby and Rickie Lee Jones, late 1980s and early 1990s.

Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, 1969; Grand Prix du Disque (Charles Cros) Award, for Liberation Music Orchestra, 1969, and Ballad of the Fallen, 1983; Grammy nominations for Liberation Music Orchestra, 1969, and Dream Keeper, 1990; winner of Down Beat critics poll, 1982-92, and Down Beat readers poll, 1985-91, both for acoustic bass category; Newsday Jazz Artist of the Year, 1991; four National Endowment for the Arts composition grants.

Addresses: Management The Merlin Company, 17609 Ventura Blvd., Suite 212, Encino, CA, 91316.

yodeling. These early experiences were crucial to Hadens musical development. As he expressed to Bill Forman of Grammy magazine, The way [Mother May-belle Carter] sang and played guitar had a big influence on me. And the Delmore Brothers were a real influence on my harmonic sense, because they were the first deep harmony in country music.

Haden began to perform on bass during his teen years and in 1957 moved to Los Angeles to establish himself as a professional musician. Anxious to absorb all he could from the vibrant West Coast jazz scene, he aggressively sought out a wide variety of groups and performing venues. As he told Forman, I used to go up on the bandstand at jam sessions and grab the bass out of the bass players hands and start playing. Soon he had drawn the attention of some of the greatest names in the Los Angeles area, including saxophonist Dexter Gordon and trumpeter Chet Baker.

Met Ornette Coleman

The direction of Hadens career was changed forever when he was introduced to saxophonist Ornette Coleman in a club in Hollywood. Born and raised in Texas and largely self-taught, Coleman obtained his early musical experience by performing with rhythm and blues groups. However, after moving to the West Coast in 1954, Coleman quickly traveled into uncharted musical terrain. Seeking to move jazz performances beyond the usual technique of improvising over a set harmonic pattern, Coleman began to experiment with more flexible organizing principles in his playing, including tonal centers and melodic motives. Haden sensed an immediate empathy with Colemans ideas, which became loosely grouped under the heading free jazz; as Haden explained to Cocks, Sometimes I would want to improvise on the inspiration, the feeling rather than the chords. And thats what Ornette was doing.

As a member of Ornette Colemans quartet, which included trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Billy Higgins, Haden helped shape the course of jazz history. A four-month stint at New Yorks Five Spot club in 1959 and influential albums, such as The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1960 and Free Jazz in 1961, brought the groups revolutionary approaches to jazz improvisation to a wide audience. The instinctive communication between Haden and the other members of the ensemblewhat Jazz Tradition author Martin Williams has called responsive inspirationassured a sense of structure and balance in these performances, without sacrificing their startling audacity and freedom.

Haden continued to perform with Coleman throughout the 1960s and later, in 1976, helped found Old and New Dreams, a group dedicated to keeping the spirit of Colemans music alive. Then, in 1969, another important phase of Hadens career began when, with pianist and composer Carla Bley, he founded Liberation Music Orchestra. As Haden explained to Down Beats Josef Woodard, the formation of the group was brought about by the Vietnam War, by the turmoil that was going on in the world caused by United States aggression. I felt I had to do something about it in my own way. The groups self-titled first album, a deeply emotional statement about freedom that incorporated themes from the Spanish Civil War, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1969. With some changes in personnel, the group continued to perform throughout the 1970s and 1980s and in 1993 staged a concert at New Yorks Lincoln Center.

Founded Quartet West

Haden had always held a special affection for the atmosphere of the 1930s and 1940s so vividly captured in the novels of Raymond Chandler. Therefore, in the late 1980s, when he made his first venture as the leader of a small group, he tried to pass along the feeling of standing in Philip Marlowes office looking out at the neon lights blinking off and on in the night, as he expressed to Times Cocks. His Quartet West, which recorded four albums between 1987 and 1993, reflected Hadens fascination with a time when, as he stated to Woodard in Down Beat, popular music had deeper values.

The groups 1993 release, Always Say Goodbye, for example, opened with Max Steiners 1937 fanfare for Warner Brothers, and featured, along with contemporary performances by the group, snippets of movie dialogue and vintage performances such as Jo Staffords Alone Together. The use of these musical artifacts contributed both an atmosphere of nostalgia and, as Musician writer Tom Moon put it, guideposts to a world where emotionalism still lives.

In 1991 Hadens affection for classic pop music carried over into another project, Rickie Lee Joness album Pop Pop. On this recording Haden accompanied Joness performances of such classic standards as My One and Only Love, lending the tunes his sensitivity, passion, and sense of taste. The album brought Hadens work to a new group of listeners who were perhaps unaware of his long and fruitful career and his unique contribution to American music history.

Selected discography

With Ornette Coleman

The Shape of Jazz to Come, Atlantic, 1960.
Free Jazz, Atlantic, 1961.
Song X, Geffen, 1986.
In All Languages, Caravan of Dreams, 1987.
Beauty Is a Rare Thing: The Complete Atlantic Recordings, Rhino/Atlantic, 1993.

With Liberation Music Orchestra

Liberation Music Orchestra, Impulse, 1969.

The Ballad of the Fallen, ECM, 1983.

Dream Keeper, Blue Note, 1991.

With Old and New Dreams

Old and New Dreams, Black Saint, 1977.

Playing, ECM, 1981.

With Quartet West

Quartet West, Verve, 1987.

In Angel City, Verve, 1988.

Haunted Heart, Verve, 1992.

Always Say Goodbye, Verve, 1993.

Other

(With Hampton Hawes) As Long as Theres Music, Artists House, 1978.

Contributor

Keith Jarrett, The Mourning of a Star, Atlantic, 1971.

Carla Bley, Musique mecanique, Watt, 1979.

Michael Brecker, MCA Impulse, 1987.

An Evening With Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden and Al Foster, Red, 1988.

Bruce Hornsby, Night on the Town, RCA, 1990.

Rickie Lee Jones, Pop Pop, Geffen, 1991.

Abbey Lincoln, Youve Got to Pay the Band, Verve, 1991.

Joshua Redman, Wish, Warner Bros., 1993.

Sources

Books

Porter, Lewis, and Michael Ullman, with Edward Hazell, Jazz From Its Origins to the Present, Prentice-Hall, 1993.

Williams, Martin, The Jazz Tradition, Oxford University Press, 1993.

Periodicals

Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1993.

Down Beat, August 1992.

Entertainment Weekly, July 17, 1992.

Grammy Magazine, December 1992.

Metro Times (Detroit), September 1, 1993.

Musician, February 1994.

New York Times, June 20, 1987.

People, November 2, 1992.

Pulse!, August 1992; October 1992.

Time, October 12, 1992.

Washington Post, September 27, 1993.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from the Merlin Company, Inc., 1994.

Jeffrey Taylor

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Haden, Charlie." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Haden, Charlie." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/haden-charlie

"Haden, Charlie." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/haden-charlie

Haden, Charlie

CHARLIE HADEN

Born: Shenandoah, Iowa, 6 August 1937

Genre: Jazz

Best-selling album since 1990: Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories) (1996)


Charlie Haden is known by jazz aficionados worldwide for his deep tone on the double bass and his supportive, unadorned improvisational style, which emphasizes the harmonic fundamentals of the various jazz, folk, political, and film musical styles he addresses.

Having begun his career as "Cowboy Charlie," a two-year-old singer in the Haden Family Band performing hillbilly music daily on an Ozark radio station, Haden took up piano after an attack of bulbar polio in his throat; he picked up his older brother's bass when he was fourteen. In the mid-1950s, Haden moved to Los Angeles to study at Westlake College of Modern Music, where he roomed with the innovative bassist Scot LaFaro (who died in a car crash in 1961). Soon Haden was playing in jam sessions and with West Coast leaders, including the saxophonist Art Pepper and pianists Hampton Hawes and Paul Bley, in whose quintet he met the iconoclastic saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman.

Haden enjoyed a career breakthrough in Coleman's quartet, performing at a legendary booking at the Five Spot in New York City in 1959, but he left the band in 1960 because of heroin addiction, for which he underwent treatment at Synanon House in California. Returning to New York in 1966, he restarted his career in earnest, working with jazz traditionalists and avant-gardists alike. The father of triplets, he recorded at every opportunity and rejoined Coleman, whom he regards as a genius and mentor. When Coleman reorganized his ensemble around electric guitars in the early 1970s, Haden and Coleman's other ex-band members formed Old and New Dreams to regroup in their acoustic performance mode.

Haden's first album as a leader, Liberation Music Orchestra (1969), was a critical success, notable for arrangements by the pianist Carla Bley and the trombonist Roswell Rudd depicting the riots at the Democratic National Convention of 1968; the album also includes the Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome." Highly out-spoken, Haden was arrested while performing in Portugal in 1971 for his onstage support of the Angolan liberation movement. In the early 1970s he was a founding member of the quartet led by the pianist Keith Jarrett. In the middle of that decade, he recorded two albums of duets with his closest associates, an unprecedented project.

In the early 1980s Haden was named the director of jazz studies at California Institute of the Arts and reached out internationally, recording with the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Gabarek and the Brazilian guitarist Egberto Gismonti for the German-based ECM label, and with Chet Baker and the pianist Enrico Pieranunzi for the Italian Soul Note label. He recorded two further albums with the Liberation Music Orchestra, one backed by Japanese producers. In 1986 Haden established Quartet West, a saxophone-piano-bass-drums band performing conventional jazz repertoire and themes from film noir soundtracks of the 1940s and 1950s, albeit with a lyrical, sometimes nostalgic air. Through 1999 the band released six albums, including Always Say Goodbye (1994), a Grammy nominee and Down Beat Critics Poll Album of the Year. Haden's ability to enhance a breadth of repertoire performed by a wide range of musiciansnewcomers and veterans alikehas been a lifetime boon. He has become an enthusiastic Americanist, collaborating on spirituals, hymns, and folk songs with pianist Hank Jones on Steal Away (1995); on standards such as "Body and Soul" with pianist Kenny Barron; and with the Midwestern guitarist Pat Metheny on the Grammy-winning Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories) (1997). He evoked a majestic "America the Beautiful" with saxophonist Michael Brecker, the young pianist Brad Mehldau, and a thirty-four-piece orchestra on American Dreams (2001). But Haden is also an ardent inter-nationalist, exploring indigenous fado repertoire with Portuguese lutist Carlos Paredes on Dialogues (1990) and playing Cuban boleros on Nocturnes (2001) in an ensemble that included Metheny, the Liberation Music Orchestra saxophonist Joe Lovano, Panamanian saxophonist David Sanchez, and Havana-born musicians Rubalcaba, Ignacio Berroa (drums), and Federico Britos Ruiz (violin).

Haden suffers from severe hyperacusisa reduced tolerance to loudnesswhich requires him to wear earplugs while performing. Yet he seldom shirks opportunities to perform. He has guest-starred with sophisticated pop musicians, including Bruce Hornsby and Rickie Lee Jones. He understands that abstract improvisations, folk airs, and complex songs alike are rooted in profound bass notes, which he can unerringly discover and articulately express.

Spot Light: Haden in Montreal

In 1989 the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal staged an eight-night Charlie Haden retrospective, the documentation of which has come out since 1990. Verve Records offers four volumes of The Montreal Tapes, featuring the bassist with his pianist protégés Geri Allen and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, his mid-1950s California colleague Paul Bley (Paul Motian, the drum partner of Haden's tragically killed friend Scott LaFaro, appears on all three albums), and his former Ornette Coleman band mates Don Cherry and Edward Blackwell. In 2001 ECM Records put out In Montreal, Haden's festival set with Brazilian guitarist-pianist Egberto Gismonti. Charlie Haden at the Montreal Jazz Festival, a sixty-minute DVD, features the Liberation Music Orchestra with the saxophone soloist Joe Lovano performing traditional Latin American songs and "Nkosi Sikelel-I Afrika," the African National Congress anthem. Radio Canada also recorded Haden's concerts with saxophonist Joe Henderson and drummer Al Foster, and with guitarist Pat Metheny and drummer Jack DeJohnette, but these recordings have not been released.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Montreal Tapes with Geri Allen (Verve, 1990); Montreal Tapes with Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Verve, 1990); In Montreal (ECM, 2001); Montreal Tapes, Vol. 1 (Verve, 1990); Dialogues (Antilles, 1991); Dream Keeper (Blue Note, 1991); First Song (Soul Note, 1991); Haunted Heart (Verve, 1992); Always Say Goodbye (Verve, 1994); Steal Away (Verve, 1995); Now Is the Hour (Verve, 1996); Night and the City (Verve, 1997); Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories) (Verve, 1996); The Art of the Song (Polygram, 1999); Nocturne (Verve, 2001); American Dreams (Verve, 2002).

WEBSITE:

http://interjazz.com/haden.

howard mandel

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Haden, Charlie." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Haden, Charlie." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/haden-charlie

"Haden, Charlie." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/haden-charlie