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Charlie Haden, 1937-2014

Trailblazing bassist Charlie Haden passed away¬† this month. Haden was best known for his early collaborations with Ornette Coleman on records like Free Jazz and The Shape of Jazz to Come, helping Coleman to pioneer a new movement in improvisation styles. Haden also went on to create several notable works with pianist Keith Jarrett and with the Liberation Music¬† Orchestra, which he led with pianist Carla Bley. The LMO went on to use its recordings and performances to speak out about political matters from the Spanish Revolution to Portuguese colonialism (for which he was once detained in the Lisbon airport) and American military involvement in Latin America. Haden’s later recordings continued to be diverse, focusing on American pop ballads, spirituals, folk songs, Latin dance, and originals by Haden and his contemporaries.

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