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CHARLIE HADEN (August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2014) — in memoriam


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“Thanks to bassist-composer Charles Mingus, who brought me to New York’s Five Spot, I got to hear the legendary Ornette Coleman Quartet upclose and face-to-face in the summer of 1960. Watching and listening to Charlie Haden interpolate folk, country and hillbilly songs into his modal-sounding bass solos, I just sat grinning. The whole night shone. “Squealing like mosquitoes” was how some New Yorker ‘Talk of the Town’ commentator had waggishly described and dismissed Ornette’s raw band. Then and there, I understood. Nothing would ever be the same. After his Liberation Music Orchestra, it was Charlie Haden’s Quartet West band with saxophonist Ernie Watts that knocked me all the way out. Haden played from the bottom of his heart. He rooted for the underdog. He told and played truth as he heard, saw and lived it.”  — Al Young


(L-R) Trumpeter Don Cherry, drummer Billy Higgins, saxophonist-leader Ornette Coleman, bassist Charlie Haden in 1960

Ornette Quartet 1959 Courtesy Atlantic Records
Listen to Haden quote ‘Old Joe Clark’ on Ornette’s ‘Ramblin”


Cover of Ornette Coleman Quartet’s Change of the Century (1960)


© Rafa Rivas/Getty Images


Charlie Hayden & Daughters © Ruth Fremson/NY Times

Charlie Haden with his triplet daughters Tanya, Rachel and Petra — along with guitarist Bryan Sutton — perform the  folk and country songs of Haden’s heartland childhood at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in 2008. ||| Click on photo to read Nate Chinen’s NYTimes piece, ‘He Was Country Before He Was Cool.’


Charlie Haden, Influential Jazz Bassist, Is Dead at 76 |
Nate Chinen,, July 11, 2014

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Remembering bassist Charlie Haden

Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra
(59-minutes, ‘live’ performance, France)

 A Charlie Haden discography


One Response to “CHARLIE HADEN (August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2014) — in memoriam”

  1. Barbara Tierney Says:

    That Liberation Music orchestra of his was in one word…….LIBERATING!

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