Thursday, August 6, 2009

Charlie Haden turns 72

Charlie Haden is a jazz bassist probably best known for his work as a member of Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking bands of the late 1950s and early 1960s, producing music that truly pushed the envelope in the jazz world. He'd later reprise Ornette Coleman's early music with several other former Coleman bandmates during the 1970s and 1980s as Old and New Dreams, would lead the Liberation Music Orchestra (a sort of avant-garde jazz supergroup whose first album was primarily a tribute to the freedom fighters of the Spanish Civil War), and continue to work as a sideman for numerous prominent jazzers as well as record as a leader. I really haven't followed Haden's later work, but have a deep appreciation for his contributions as a composer and sideman during a very exciting period not only for jazz, but for music in general.

Here are a couple of videos in which Haden performs. First, with Carla Bley and the new Liberation Music Orchestra (circa 2003):



Finally, here's a blast from what I'm guessing is about the late 1970s or early 1980s with the Liberation Music Orchestra as they play the anthem of the African National Congress:


Give the man props for his willingness to make a statement with music.

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