Archives for posts with tag: Charlie Haden

The line of people stretched down the block in the cold on West 43rd Street in Manhattan for a chance to get inside the Town Hall Theater and say goodbye to the great bassist Charlie Haden. The memorial nearly filled the expansive hall on Tuesday, January 13th, as attendees listened to musical tributes to and–memories of–Haden, many of the latter punctuated by imitations of Haden’s signature warm greeting of “hey, man”.

Haden, 76, died July 11, 2014 in Los Angeles after a long battle with post-polio syndrome. Haden suffered from polio as a child.

Trumpeter Michael Rodriguez started the memorial with a solo trumpet piece titled “going home”.

Ruth Cameron-Haden: Charlie “really did feel a responsibility to bring beauty to the world”

Haden’s widow (and producer on many recordings) Ruth Cameron-Haden provided opening remarks and served as host for the evening in addition to being one of the key organizers. She offered personal reflections of what it was like to live with Charlie. As might be expected for someone widely known as both a jokester and an artist with an intense devotion to honing his musical craft, life with him was a rollercoaster ride. The takeaway, though, and a point stressed in different words throughout the evening, was Cameron-Haden’s recollection that Charlie “really did feel a responsibility to bring beauty to the world” and acted on this through both his music and activism.

Long time collaborator and friend guitarist Pat Metheny took the stage next to play a solo acoustic guitar medley of songs in memory of Haden followed by some personal reflections. Metheny recalled first meeting Haden as a very young musician, already in awe of the latter’s status in music. As an icebreaker, Metheny told Haden that he was from Missouri, too, and they became fast friends. “Charlie and I literally played hundreds and hundreds of concerts all over the world”, Metheny said, recalling collaborations starting with his own groundbreaking and critically acclaimed 80/81 release and Song X, which featured sax innovator Ornette Coleman. Metheny recalled that he and Haden “could play anything together from the most out stuff to harmonic stuff to songs of the most complete simplicity”, but pointed out that their relationship went way beyond music, despite their 17-year age difference.

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Coleman was not feeling well enough to attend, but wanted to express his support and sent his son, drummer Denardo Coleman, in his place. Denardo remembered being on one of his father’s recording sessions at the tender age of 10 years old and how Haden welcomed him, mentored him, and made him feel accepted as a musician.

Bassist Putter Smith: “He was a rascal. A very charming rascal, but he could charm anybody out of anything, including me”.

Bassist Putter Smith recalled getting calls from Haden at the last minute to fill in for his classes at the California Institute for the Arts, where Haden helped found the jazz program and taught for decades. “He was a rascal,” Smith said, “a very charming rascal, but he could charm anybody out of anything, including me”. What Haden brought to bass playing “was the permission to play with a very charming intimacy”, Smith added.

Saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Brad Mehldau joined together for a bluesy duo. “We haven’t figured out what to play [yet],” Konitz admitted, “so we’ll just figure it out as we go along”, which they did after a minor hiccup and did spectacularly well. Mehldau then went to the microphone and remembered Haden as a spiritual mentor in addition to he musical lessons he gave. Mehldau recalled one story Haden told him to end a discussion that had erupted over the role of drugs in music and the popular lore that drugs acted as a creative muse. Haden, Mehldau recalled, adamantly insisted that some of the musical greats who struggled with drug addiction and died young such as Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix achieved what they did despite their addiction, not because of it. “Imagine what they would have achieved if they’d gotten clean”, Haden pointed out. Mehldau’s recollection was but one of many in the evening stressing Haden’s humanity.

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Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pianist Geri Allen, and harpist Brandee Younger took the stage to perform “For Turiya”, Haden’s tribute to Alice Coltrane.

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Dr. Maurice Jackson, Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University remembered Haden’s principled and uncompromising stand against racism and his solidarity as an ally to Black people.

Dr. Maurice Jackson

Dr. Maurice Jackson

Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Scott Colley, and pianist Kenny Barron performed as a quartet. Colley was Haden’s first student at CalArts.

After performing, Redman recalled learning about his father, saxophonist Dewey Redman, through their common musical relationship with Haden. Redman recalled not knowing his father very well, but getting to understand him and learn much more about him through the elder Redman’s music and with his own interaction with Haden, whom both had played with.

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Haden’s children closed the program with “Voice From On High” And “Oh Shenandoah” accompanied by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Mark Fain. Haden’s daughters–Tanya, Rahcel, and Petra–perform as The Haden Triplets and his son Josh Haden plays the bass.

Josh Fain (b), The Haden Triplets, Josh Haden (obscured), Bill Frisell (guitar, obscured)

Josh Fain (b), The Haden Triplets, Josh Haden (obscured), Bill Frisell (guitar, obscured)

Bassist Scott Colley returned to the stage for one last number with Quartet West, Haden’s group on the west coast with pianist Alan Broadbent, tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, and drummer Rodney Green. They formed, Ruth Cameron-Haden recalled, from Charlie’s complaint that there was “no one to play with in Los Angeles” until she reminded him of some of the musicians living there whose playing he liked.

(L-R): Alan Broadbent, Scott Colley, Ernie Watts

(L-R): Alan Broadbent, Scott Colley, Ernie Watts

The evening was closed, appropriately enough, with members from Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, who played "Amazing Grace", "Silence", and closed the program with "We Shall Overcome". It was a fitting way to end a night in the memory of someone who struggled so long and cared so deeply for nearly everyone whose life he touched in one way or another.

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Photo Credit: Hank Williams (all photos). Creative Commons licensed (non-commercial, some rights reserved.)

For a more in-depth look at Haden, see Joyce Jones’s extensive 2011 interview of Charlie and Ruth on Suga’ in My Bowl.

The Haden family asks for donations to be sent to the CalArts Scholarship fund that assists needy students in the music program that he helped found. Donations can be made online here (Select the “Charlie Haden Scholarship Fund” under the “Gift Allocation” menu.) Checks can be mailed to The Charlie Haden CalArts Scholarship Fund / P.O. Box 520/ Agoura Hills CA 91376.

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Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York. Follow him on Twitter: @streetgriot

bandstand_picPhoto Credit: Hank Williams

Suga in My Bowl radio presents a new weekly feature, On The Bandstand where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests.

Program note: Suga’ in My Bowl has changed to a biweekly schedule on WBAI Radio and now alternates Sunday nights with Sports Qualified at our usual 11 PM -1 AM time period. You’ll get the same great show; just every other week! So mark your calendars or just keep up with us via our Facebook page, the blog here, or our main website and we’ll keep track of the schedule for you.

This week’s guest is saxophonist David Murray. You can see him live at the 2015 Winter Jazz Fest on January 9th and 10th. Scroll down the page for details and check out our first look on the fest. We have the usual line-up of live music this week, including New Year’s Eve listings, so you can plan festivities ahead.

Pianist Harold Mabern co-leads a sextet through January 1st at Smoke as part of their Coltrane Festival, including a New Year’s Eve show.

You can ring in the new year with trombonist Craig Harris at Sista’s Place in Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve.

Vocalist Dianne Reeves will be at Avery Fisher Hall on New Year’s Eve.

Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater will be at Iridium from the 31st to January 2nd.

Bassist Christian McBride joins Peter Bernstein’s Quartet on stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s club on January 2nd to 4th.

Drummer Bobby Sanabria leads a discussion of the music of World War I era composer James Reese Europe at the Jazz Museum in Harlem as part of their “Jazz for Curious Listeners” series on January 6th. The event is free.

Low Brass specialist on tuba and trombone Joe Daley will be at Terra Blues with Hazmat Modine on January 9th

Pianist Marc Cary returns to the Cell Theatre with his Focus trio on January 10th and 17th.

WJF_200x200The big news coming up is the 2015 Winter Jazz Fest on January 8th through 10th. Details are at their website and you can see our own preview and ongoing festival coverage right here. Pianist Harold Mabern will appear in the WJF’s Disability Pride benefit concert on the 8th. Other Suga’ guests on the lineup so far are: saxophonist Oliver Lake with Trio 3 and his Organ Quartet, drummer Will Calhoun with Jungle Funk, harpist Brandee Younger, vocalist Catherine Russell, saxophonist David Murray with drummer Teri Lyne Carrington and pianist Geri Allen, drummer J.T. Lewis with Harriet Tubman, saxophonist Billy Harper with The Cookers, and possibly more to come. Look for a more in-depth cheat sheet here next week.

Looking ahead, there’s a free memorial and celebration of the life of the late bassist Charlie Haden; at the Town Hall on January 13th with Ruth Cameron-Haden, Pat Metheny, Brandee Younger, and many more.

Looking much further ahead, vocalist Catherine Russell and master drummer Michael Carvin will both be appearing at Mohonk Mountain House’s Jazz on the Mountain from January 16-19th, but you need to reserve space now.

That’s all for now. With our new biweekly schedule, Suga’ in My Bowl is off the airwaves next week, but back on WBAI January 11th. We’ll have another edition of “On the Bandstand” online next Sunday with a fresh set of listings.

Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

bandstand_picSuga in My Bowl radio presents a new feature, On The Bandstand where we collect upcoming NYC area shows from current and past Suga’ guests.
This week’s show is a memorial tribute to the late bassist Charlie Haden. But we have an expanded set of live music listings for you this week.
There are several opportunities to catch bassist Mimi Jones. She’ll be leading a band at The Lion on the 20th and at the Village Vanguard from July 22nd to 27th with drummer Rudy Royston’s Sextet.

Drummer Bobby Sanabria will be appearing as part of the orchestra in a free performance of Larry Harlow’s Hommy: A Latin Opera at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series in Damrosch Park on July 23rd. He’ll also be leading a band in a free outdoor performance at Grant’s Tomb on July 30th as part of the Jazzmobile series.

Journalist Herb Boyd of the Amsterdam News and pianist Onaje Allen Gumbs will be part of a discussion titled “Post 50′s Jazz, the Artists, the Culture, the Cool” on modern jazz’s development and roots in Harlem on July 24th at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Trombonist Steve Turre appears at the Jazz Standard from July 24th to 27th with saxophonist Donald Harrison’s Quintet. Go to jazzstandard dot com for details. He’s also playing an afternoon set at the Caramoor Jazz Festival in Westchester County on the 27th.

Blueswoman Alexis P. Suter is at Iridium on the 25 and has a free outdoor concert in Cold Spring NY on the 27th.

Saxophonist Tia Fuller leads a quartet at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on the 29th and 30th.

Pianist Vijay Iyer drops by The Stone for a late set on August 1st.

Guitarist Pat Metheny appears at Caramoor in Westchester County with his Unity Group on August 2nd.

Looking ahead, pianist Geri Allen has a solo performance at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center in West Orange NJ on August 2nd.

That’s all for now. Suga’ in My Bowl is off the WBAI airwaves next week for the last Sunday of the month, but we’ll have a fresh set of listings online here next Sunday and be back on-air on Sunday, August 3rd.

Hank Williams is an associate producer for Suga’ in My Bowl on WBAI Radio and webmaster for the Suga’ and Behind the Mic sites. He is also a PhD candidate in English and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Hunter and Lehman Colleges and The City College of New York.

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