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jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Charlie Haden Recommendations

In another post RG requested some Charlie Haden recommendations. Gee RG could you ask for something a little less challenging next time.

Charlie Haden has been on I don't know about a billion recording dates over the course of his 45+ year career, so picking a few recommended recordings is just a tad bit overwhelming. Plus throw in the fact that Haden has been on more than a few free jazz milestone recordings and you know how yours truly loves that free blowing stuff...well this could get to be trouble.

However, since the good Mr. Haden has made so many recording of all type of music and jazz, there is plenty to recommend and explore and I start with an old classic, a new classic, a nice straight ahead date and hard to find treat to get you going.

The old classic: Charlie Haden - Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse! MCAD-39125) recorded in 1969 this is really and truly a classic in the field of jazz and protest music. At times free and at other times highly arranged but alway inspired this one hell of record.

The new classic: Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra - Not in Our Name (Verve CD 1418) recorded in 2004 and another protest but this time against the war in Iraq. The music is once free or arranged but alway inspired. different players, except for Carla Bley but with the same impressive results.

Straight ahead date: Charlie Haden Quartet West - Quartet West (Verve CS 831673-4) recorded in 1986 Haden is joined by Alan Broadbent on piano, Billy Higgins on drums and Ernie Watts on saxophones for a very set originals and standards.

Out of print treat: Conrad Silvert Presents Jazz at the Opera House (Columbia LP C2-38430) This double live LP recorded at San Francisco's Opera House features Haden along with such jazz notables as Herbie Hancock, pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabackin, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis and Tony Williams among others. Haden's bass playing on Shorter's "Footprints" is amazing.

stereophillips's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 13 2005 - 10:55am
Re: Charlie Haden Recommendations

Hard to fault any of jazzfan's reccomendations, but I'd add a few.

I loved CH in Ornette Coleman's early band. He held all that frantic blowing together so nicely. I'm also partial to the "middle" Liberation Music Orchestra's album, Ballad of the Fallen, which suffers a bit from digititis, but has some of Carla Bley's most luscious harmonies ever -- the charts from Ballad just tug my heartstrings every time I hear them. Haden's "Silence" is one of those musical moments that cuts through all the clutter of everyday life, leaving you suspended in glory.

The solo recordings on the Naim label are quite good, but the duets (one with Chris Anderson and one with John Taylor) are both stunning in both music and sound.

Then there's Beyond the Missouri Sky with Pat Metheny. I think I'll go listen to that now, as a matter of fact.

But before I do, I'll also mention that I love Quartet West's Always Say Goodbye, which I realize some listeners find "gimmicky" because of Haden's use of recordings of vocalists from eras past. Since it's homage and intended to evoke and earlier LA, I forgive it -- it's not like he's pulling a Natalie Cole here, he's making a recording about the land of dreams, fer Pete's sake. At any rate, I like it and assume a few other people must as well.

Buddha's picture
Last seen: 10 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Charlie Haden Recommendations

Man, I hate when I'm late on the scene and all I can say is, "What they said."

Beyond the Missouri Sky was slow to catch traction with me, now I get emotional comfort listening to it.

Maybe that's the best compliment of a recording...its charms are subtle, but grow and insinuate themselves into your psyche until you can't imagine the world without it.

There's a Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane disc (LP) called "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" that has done the same thing to me. It is a killer disc.

mmole's picture
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 31 2005 - 7:29pm
Re: Charlie Haden Recommendations

Haden's never been on a bad album so in a sense, everything is recommended. I've always been partial to the two duet albums originally on A & M/Horizon: 1976's "Closeness" (w/Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Jarrett, and Motian) and 1977's "The Golden Number" (w/Coleman, Cherry, Hawes, and Shepp). And now that I've pulled them both from the shelf for this post I realize that they were both purchased as "cut-outs." So I'd say that these are the best two Haden albums ever to be remaindered.

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