Charlie Haden (Ornette Coleman, LMO)

Photo courtesy of Charlie Haden Com Photo courtesy of Charlie Haden Com

Photo courtesy of Charlie Haden Com

By Thomas Semioli

I find that the best bass players are as supportive when we’re off duty as when we’re in the studio and/or on the bandstand. Witness the life of Charlie Haden. A master soloist, accompanist, and composer who drew his inspiration from country to classical to world music (which he helped create), Charlie Haden’s historic tenure with Ornette Coleman, and genre defying collaborations with artists ranging from Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Art Pepper, Beck, Abbey Lincoln, Alice Coltrane, John Scofield, Yoko Ono, Michael Brecker, and Paul Motian to cite a very few, continue to expand the language of jazz and improvised music.

The Liberation Music Orchestra, under the direction Charlie Haden and Carla Bley provided a musical platform to challenge militarism, apartheid, conflicts against military dictatorships funded by hegemonic governments, oppression of indigenous peoples, racism, sexism, violations of civil rights, environmental irresponsibility, and economic injustice, among many other issues that do not have a strong voice in a mainstream American culture obsessed with celebrity.

A musical giant who spoke truth to power through his artistry regardless of the consequences- Mr. Haden said of his Liberation Music Orchestra “I always dreamed of a world without cruelty and greed, of a humanity with the same creative brilliance of our solar system, of an America worthy of the dreams of Martin Luther King, and the majesty of the Statue of Liberty. This music is dedicated to those who still dream of a society with compassion, deep creative intelligence, and a respect for the preciousness of life for our children, and for our future.”

Dig Charlie Haden and Keith Jarrett

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