News-Musicians celebrate life of jazz bass great Charlie Haden

CharlieHaden150Musicians celebrate life of jazz bass great Charlie Haden

Memorial concert features Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, many others

By Mindy Rochwerg
January 14, 2015

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Charlie Haden was memorialized by his peers in a tribute concert at The Town Hall in New York City January 13.  The event, organized by Haden’s widow, Ruth Cameron-Haden, featured musicians Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Carla Bley, Jack DeJohnette, Denardo Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Bill Frisell, Ethan Iverson, Dr, Maurice Jackson, Lee Konitz, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Brandee Younger. Two of Haden’s ensembles also performed: Quartet West, with Scott Colley on bass, and Liberation Music Orchestra, with Steve Swallow on bass.

“He always understood what I was trying to do in music … like no one else,” said Metheny during the show. “There was this feeling that we could play anything together from the most out stuff to the most complex harmonic stuff to things of total simplicity.”

Haden first received acclaim as part of the Ornette Coleman Quartet, a group that also included saxophonist Dewey Redman and drummer Billy Higgins.  “Charlie brought out the love of my father’s playing,” said Redman’s son, acclaimed saxophonist Joshua Redman, “the tenderness, warmth, soulfulness, sensitivity and honesty.” After his initial period with Coleman, Haden went on to play with a long list of prominent musicians, including John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Metheny, Michael Brecker, Stan Getz, Chet Baker and Abby Lincoln.

As a leader, Haden formed the Liberation Music Orchestra in 1969 and Quartet West in 1986.  In 1982, he founded the Jazz Studies Program at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia, CA.

Members of Haden’s musical family also performed at the event – his singer/songwriter son, Josh Haden, and his musician daughters who are known as the Haden Triplets.

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