Personalities | Charlie Haden | Sixties | Jazz & Blues

(Bass, b. 1937)

Charlie Haden’s famed work with Ornette Coleman represents just one small facet of the versatile bassist’s career. As a child in Iowa he performed on radio with his family’s country and western band. At 15 he took up the bass while recovering from polio, acquiring a novel technique that makes his notes resonate deeply. Haden moved to Los Angeles in 1957 to find jazz work. He met pianist Paul Bley and altoist Ornette Coleman, who were trying out new ideas that formed the roots of free jazz.

After leaving the Coleman quartet, Haden began looking into folk music and assembled his politically inspired Liberation Music Orchestra in 1969. Haden has worked in a trio with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and guitarist Egberto Gismonti, and duetted with Pat Metheny; he has also collaborated with pianists Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Hank Jones. In the 1980s he formed his popular Quartet West.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | John Hammond Jr. | Sixties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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