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Charlie Haden PDF Print E-mail
Haden Legendary Bassist and triple Grammy Award winning jazz musician, producer, composer and educator, Charlie Haden has always defied the boundaries of category since he performed together with Ornette Coleman in the late 1950’s, changing the shape of Jazz by revolutionizing the harmonic concept of bass playing in jazz. Time Magazine has hailed jazz master Charlie Haden «one of the most restless, gifted and intrepid players in all of jazz».
Over the course of his illustrious career he formed the much acclaimed Liberation Music Orchestra and contributed his virtuosity to numerous recordings with innovative musicians including, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Hampton Hawes and many others.
In 1986 he brought together fellow musicians, saxman Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent and Billy Higgins on drums to form his much lauded and multiple Grammy nominated band Charlie Haden Quartet West. Later Larance Marable replaced Billy Higgins and now drummer Rodney Green performs with the band on a regular basis.
Haden’s vision for Quartet West recognizes the beginning of modernism in jazz. Along with lush forties pop ballads and lilting originals by Haden or Alan Broadbent, the group’s pianist, the Quartet’s elegant “noir” infused bop-oriented style and stellar instrumentalists perfectly evoke a sense of place like no other band. Beautiful melodies are given lush, lyrical interpretations that captivate with their sublime beauty and passionate delivery.
In the same mood, the band performs some of the trickiest of up-tempo early-bebop numbers by Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Lennie Tristano, among others. And Quartet West is one of only a few contemporary jazz bands to capture early bebop’s angular geometrics and emotional undercurrents, along with its stylish drum accents and fast-driving tempos.
The Quartet celebrates twenty years together and it is one of the rare groups in jazz that has continued to perform as an ensemble over a long stretch of time.
As Francis Davis writes in the August, 2000 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, «No other instrument in jazz is more essential than the bass, both backbone and heartbeat, and Haden is its master».