Charlie Haden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden - Pescara Italy 1990.jpg
Haden in Pescara Italy, 1990
Background information
Birth name Charles Edward Haden
Born (1937-08-06) August 6, 1937 (age 76)
Shenandoah, Iowa, United States
Genres Free jazz, mainstream jazz, post-bop, hard bop, folk-jazz
Occupations Double bassist, composer
Instruments Double bass
Years active 1957–present
Associated acts Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, Liberation Music Orchestra, Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Alice Coltrane, Old and New Dreams, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Art Pepper, Denny Zeitlin, Paul Bley

Charles Edward "Charlie" Haden (born August 6, 1937, Shenandoah, Iowa)[1] is an American jazz musician. He is a double bassist, probably best known for his long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Haden is also known for his signature lyrical bass lines.

Early life[edit]

Haden was born in Shenandoah, Iowa, and raised in a musical family, which often performed together on the radio playing country music and American folk songs. Haden made his professional debut as a singer when he was two years old, and continued singing with his family until he contracted a mild form of polio when he was 15.[1] The polio damaged his throat muscles and vocal cords, and as a result, Haden was unable to control his pitch while singing. A few years before contracting polio, Haden had become interested in jazz, and began playing his older brother's double bass. Eventually he set his sights on Los Angeles, and to save money for the trip took a job as house bassist for ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri.


Early period[edit]

Charlie Haden in 1981

Haden moved to Los Angeles in 1957. His first recordings were made that year with Paul Bley. He began recording with Ornette Coleman shortly after, including the important The Shape of Jazz to Come.[1] Haden's folk-influenced style complemented the microtonal, Texas blues elements of Coleman. Haden would enter Keith Jarrett's trio and his 'American Quartet' from 1967 to 1976 with Paul Motian and Dewey Redman.[1] He also played in the collective Old and New Dreams.[1]

He went on to lead the Liberation Music Orchestra in the 1970s. Largely arranged by Carla Bley, their music was very experimental, exploring the realms of free jazz and political music at the same time; the first album focused specifically on the Spanish Civil War. The LMO has had a shifting membership comprising a "who's who" of jazz instrumentalists. Through Bley's arranging, they have concentrated on a wide palette of brass instruments, including tuba, French horn, and trombone, in addition to the more standard trumpet and reed section. The LMO's 1982 album The Ballad of the Fallen commented again on the Spanish Civil War as well as the political instability and United States involvement in Latin America. In 1990, the orchestra returned with Dream Keeper, a more heterogeneous album which drew on American gospel music and South African music to comment on politics in Latin America and apartheid in South Africa. The album featured choral contributions from the Oakland Youth Chorus.

In 1971, while on tour with the Ornette Coleman Quartet in Portugal (at the time under a fascist dictatorship), Haden decided to dedicate a performance of his "Song for Che" to the anticolonialist revolutionaries in the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Angola, and Guinea-Bissau. The following day, he was detained at Lisbon Airport, jailed, and interrogated by the DGS (the Portuguese secret police). He was promptly released the same day after the intervention of the American cultural attaché, though he was later interviewed by the FBI in the United States about his choice of dedication.[2]

Later period[edit]

Thematic exploration of genres not typically considered to be jazz standards became one of the signature approaches of the Charlie Haden Quartet West. Started in 1987, the Quartet consists of Ernie Watts on sax, Alan Broadbent on piano, and Larance Marable on drums. Quartet West's albums feature lush, romantic arrangements by Broadbent, often with strings, of music from the 1930s and 1940s, often music associated with films of that period.

Haden has also performed and recorded in a number of duos with pianists including Hank Jones (with whom he recorded Steal Away, and Come Sunday, both collections of American folk and gospel tunes), Kenny Barron, and Denny Zeitlin. He has also recorded two albums of Latin music with the Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Nocturne and Land of the Sun.

A brief collaboration with Joe Henderson and Al Foster, players not normally associated with Haden or his immediate circle, showcased Haden's playing in a more hard-driving jazz context.

In 1989, Haden was featured at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and performed in concert every night of the festival, with different combos and bands. Each of these events was recorded, and most have been released in the series The Montreal Tapes.

In late 1996, he collaborated with Pat Metheny on the album Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories), exploring the music that influenced them in their childhood experiences in Missouri with what they call "contemporary impressionistic Americana". Haden was awarded his first Grammy award for the album, for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.[3]

Haden reconvened the Liberation Music Orchestra in 2005, with largely new members, for the album Not In Our Name, released on Verve Records. The album dealt primarily with the contemporary political situation in the United States. Haden's 2008 release, Rambling Boy, features several members of his immediate family, along with Béla Fleck, Pat Metheny, Elvis Costello, and others. The album, released on 23 September 2008, hearkens back to his days of playing Americana and bluegrass music with his parents on their radio show. A concert tour with Quartet West (with a new drummer) took place in the late summer of that year.

In 2012, Haden was a recipient of the NEA Jazz Masters Award.


His son Josh Haden is a bass guitarist and singer. He recorded with 1980s punk band Trecherous Jaywalkers (who recorded for SST Records), and is presently a member of Spain. His triplet daughters, Petra, Tanya and Rachel Haden, are all musicians, collectively the Haden Triplets. Petra and Rachel were in that dog.; Petra was a member of progressive folk group The Decemberists, Rachel played in the rock band The Rentals, and Tanya is married to actor Jack Black.


As leader[edit]

Haden in Gent, Belgium, 2007

The Montreal Tapes

With the Liberation Music Orchestra

With Old and New Dreams

With Quartet West

As sideman[edit]

With Geri Allen

  • In the Year of the Dragon (JMT, 1989)
  • Segments (DIW, 1989)
  • Live at the Village Vanguard (DIW, 1990)

With Ray Anderson

  • Every One of Us (Gramavision, 1992)

With Ginger Baker

  • Going Back Home (Atlantic, 1994)
  • Falling off the Roof (Atlantic, 1996)

With Gato Barbieri

  • The Third World (Flying Dutchman, 1969)

With Kenny Barron

With Beck

With Carla Bley

With Paul Bley

  • Live at the Hillcrest Club (Inner City, 1958)
  • Memoirs (Soul Note, 1990)

With Jane Ira Bloom

  • Mighty Lights (Enja, 1982)

With Dusan Bogdanovich

  • Early to Rise (Palo Alto, 1983)

With Charles Brackeen

  • Rhythm X (Strata East, 1968)

With Michael Brecker

With Gavin Bryars

  • Farewell to Philosophy (Point, 1995)

With Ruth Cameron

  • First Songs (Polygram, 1997)
  • Road House (Verve, 1999)

With Don Cherry

With Ornette Coleman

With Alice Coltrane

With John Coltrane

With James Cotton

  • Deep in the Blues (Verve, 1995)

With Robert Downey Jr.

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Tom Harrell

  • Form (Contemporary, 1990)

With Joe Henderson

  • The Elements (Milestone, 1973)
  • An Evening with Joe Henderson (Red, 1987)
  • The Standard Joe (Red, 1991)

With Fred Hersch

  • Sarabande (Sunnyside, 1986)

With Mark Isham

  • Songs My Children Taught Me (Windham Hill, 1991)

With Keith Jarrett

With Rickie Lee Jones

  • Pop Pop (Geffen, 1991)

With Lee Konitz

  • Alone Together (Blue Note, 1996) with Brad Meldhau
  • Another Shade of Blue (Blue Note, 1997)
  • Live at Birdland (ECM, 2011) with Brad Mehldau & Paul Motian

With David Liebman

  • Sweet Hands (Horizon, 1975)

With Abbey Lincoln

  • The World Is Falling Down (Verve, 1990)
  • You Gotta Pay the Band (Verve, 1991)
  • A Turtle's Dream (Verve, 1994)

With Joe Lovano

With Michael Mantler

With Harvey Mason

  • With All My Heart (RCA, 2004)

With John McLaughlin

With Helen Merrill

With Pat Metheny

With Mingus Dynasty

  • Chair in the Sky (Elektra, 1980)

With Paul Motian

With Bheki Mseleku

  • Star Seeding (Polygram, 1995)

With Yoko Ono

With Joe Pass

  • 12-string Guitar Movie Themes (World Pacific, 1964)

With Art Pepper

  • Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975)
  • So In Love (Artists House, 1979)
  • Art 'N' Zoot with Zoot Sims (Pablo, 1981)

With Enrico Pieranunzi

  • Fellini Jazz (Cam Jazz, 2003)
  • Special Encounter (Cam Jazz, 2005)

With Dewey Redman

With Joshua Redman

  • Wish (Warner Bros., 1993)

With Gonzalo Rubalcaba

  • Discovery - Live at Montreux (Blue Note, 1990)
  • The Blessing (Blue Note, 1991)
  • Suite 4 Y 20 (Blue Note, 1992)
  • Imagine (Blue Note, 1994)

With Roswell Rudd

With Pee Wee Russell and Henry "Red" Allen

With Dino Saluzzi

With David Sanborn

  • Another Hand (Elektra, 1991)

With John Scofield

With Archie Shepp

With Alan Shorter

  • Orgasm (Verve, 1968)

With Wadada Leo Smith

With Ringo Starr

With Masahiko Togashi

  • Session In Paris (Take One, 1979)

With Denny Zeitlin

  • Carnival (Columbia, 1964)
  • Live at the Trident (Columbia, 1965)
  • Zeitgeist (Columbia, 1967)
  • Tidal Wave (Quicksilver, 1983)


  1. ^ a b c d e allmusic Biography
  2. ^ Jazz Legend Charlie Haden on His Life, His Music and His Politics. Democracy Now. September 01, 2006 Accessed January 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "Past Winners Search". Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Ringo Rama (Booklet). Ringo Starr. Koch, Entertainment One. 2003. 038 411-0, 038 412-2, 038 413-9. 

External links[edit]