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Charlie Haden


Charlie Haden As a member of saxophonist Ornette Coleman's early bands, bassist Charlie Haden became known as one of free jazz's founding fathers. His trio with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and guitarist Egberto Gismonti, whose ECM album Silence epitomized a profoundly lyrical and harmonically simple aesthetic; or his duo with guitarist Pat Metheny, which has as much to do with American folk traditions as with jazz. In 1955, Haden played bass on a network television show produced in Springfield, hosted by the popular country singer, Red Foley. Haden moved to Los Angeles and by 1957 had begun playing jazz with pianists Elmo Hope and Hampton Hawes and saxophonist Art Pepper. In 1959, Haden moved with Coleman to New York. In addition to his work with Coleman, the '60s saw Haden play with pianist Denny Zeitlin, saxophonist Archie Shepp, and trombonist Roswell Rudd. He formed his own big band, the Liberation Music Orchestra. Also that year, he recorded a series of duets with Hawes, Coleman, Shepp, and Cherry, which was released as The Golden Number (A&M). In 1982, the Liberation Music Orchestra re-formed The Ballad of the Fallen (ECM). Haden helped found a university level jazz education program at CalArts in the '80s. He continued to perform, both as a leader and sideman. In the '90s, his primary performing unit became the bop-oriented Quartet West, with tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent, and drummer Larance Marble. He would also reconstitute the Liberation Music Orchestra for occasional gigs. In 2000, Haden reunited with Coleman for a performance at the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in New York City.

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