A reminiscence

A great bassist is gone. I feel depressed by the news that Charlie Haden passed. I remember how excited I was when going with Joe Friedland to Rose Records specifically on a mission to buy the latest record of “the new thing” in jazz. It was Ornette’s third record. Joe already had the earlier albums, I didn’t. We grew up with the myth that jazz would never go static and that by its nature it was a music destine to be evolutionary. Joe and I wanted to be a part of the “new thing” that had André Previn and other “jazz experts” grumbling. I remember hearing of bassist Charlie Haden for the first time and there he was on the album cover with Ornette, Cherry and Blackwell. A young white cat my age and coming on with the latest and greatest. I could identify. And I felt I too could somehow be a part of something new and evolutionary. Shortly thereafter the conscription officer had my ass in the army and the army band was not into free-jazz.

“When you’re in the midst of improvisation, there is no yesterday and no tomorrow — there is just the moment that you are in. In that beautiful moment, you experience your true insignificance to the rest of the universe. It is then, and only then, that you can experience your true significance.” C. Haden


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