Sad news arrived us at the end of the last week: Charlie Haden, one of the greatest jazz bass players, has passed away at the age of 76. Charlie Haden was born back in 1937 in Shenandoah, Iow, at a farm.
At the age of 14, he began to play the bass. This instrument became his way of expressing his impressions, feelings and thoughts. In his music, you can still listen the folk and country music he listened to when growing up at his parents farm. But fortunately, he did not stick to only this kind of music, instead he developed an afection to classical music and, of course, to jazz music.
His jazz bass playing made him famous in the jazz scenes from all over the world, especially after appearing as a double bass player with the great jazz musician Ornette Coleman on one of the most important jazz albums of all times: The shape of Jazz to Come which was release in 1959. A very important year in jazz music, not only due to the release of this groundbreaking album, but also because of the release of other very important jazz records, such as Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and Minus Ah Hum by Charlie Mingus, another very important jazz bassist.
Charlie Haden might be best known and missed in the free jazz scene. This style of music allowed him to mix all his musical and life experiences together and gave him a maximum freedom of expression.
But Charlie Haden was not only a great musician, he was a great human being with solid convictions. So in 1971 during a concert he played in Portugal, he announced that the following song was dedicated to the movements of liberation of the black people of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, all countries which were part of the portugese colonies. As a result, he was arrested for interrogation and then kicked out of the country.