Jazz bassist Charlie Haden dies at 76
Haden's record label, ECM, released the following statement Friday afternoon:
It is with deep sorrow that we announce that Charlie Haden, born August 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa, passed away today at 10:11 Pacific time in Los Angeles after a prolonged illness. Ruth Cameron, his wife of 30 years, and his children Josh Haden, Tanya Haden, Rachel Haden and Petra Haden were all by his side.
Haden began his career early, having been born into a musical family that had its own radio show and often played the
Ozark Jubilee, a country-music broadcast out of Missouri that featured the Carter Family, Chet Atkins and Porter Wagoner. He made his on-air debut at the age of 2. Even as Haden, who began playing bass in his teens, journeyed into jazz, latin music and other styles, his playing often remained rooted in those foundational melodic experiences.
Haden moved to Los Angeles in 1957 and fell in with the
West Coast jazz crowd, performing and recording with Hampton Hawes, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper and Dexter Gordon. He became an original member of the Ornette Coleman Quartet, appearing on the saxophonist's seminal 1959 album The Shape of Jazz to Come.
During a career that spanned more than half a century, Haden also collaborated with
Kenny Barron, Carla Bley, Paul Bley, Michael Brecker, Alan Broadbent, Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Paul Motian, Dewey Redman, Archie Shepp and Ernie Watts.
Haden won three
Grammy Awards, the first for his 1997 album with guitarist Pat Metheny, Beyond the Missouri Sky. He won best latin-jazz album for his two recordings with pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, 2001's Nocturne and2004's Land of the Sun. Haden also was the recipient of a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2013.
In 2008, he recorded an album called
Rambling Boy that paid tribute to his roots in country and folk music. Recorded at Ricky Skaggs' studio in Hendersonville, Tenn., it featured many Nashville musicians, as well as Pat Metheny, Bruce Hornsby and his four children, all of whom had followed musical paths of their own.
Haden released his final album, a set of duets with pianist Keith Jarrett called Last Dance, in June on ECM.
The family plans to hold a private funeral, though details of a public memorial service will be announced later.