Monday, April 26, 2010

Charlie Haden revives his roots

Charlie Haden revives his roots ( English) Charlie Haden gaat terug tot zijn wortels ( Nederlands )

Charlie, the youngest cowboy singer and yodeller on the air

Hans Koert

Two years ago Charlie Haden finished the recordings for one of his latest albums, entitled Charlie Haden Family & Friends - Rambling Boy. A very remarkable record from one of our greatest jazz bass players and composers.

I remembered him, playing the bass in his American Dreams Quartet, featuring Charlie Haden on bass, Brad Mehldau at the piano, Michael Brecker tenor saxophone and Jorge Rossy on drums. The quartet was backed by the Strings of the Conservatory of The Hague. An impressive concert scheduled on the 12th of July, 2003 at the North Sea Jazz Festival in
The Hague.
Charlie Haden: Family & Friends: Rambling Boy ( EmArcy 0602517791657)
The music they played was to be found on the album Charlie Haden with Michael Brecker: American Dreams ( Gitanes 064 096) and after the concert I was one of guys in line for their autographs.
In 1958 he joined the Ornette Coleman Quartet and was one of the members of the famous Ornette Coleman Double Quartet, which featured some modern jazz musicians like Don Cherry, Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard and, of course Charlie Haden and Ornette Coleman. This Double Quartet made a landmark in jazz history by recording the Free Jazz album. ( Others marked these recordings as the end of jazz ). Fact is, that Charlie Haden, was part of this legendary band.
Young Charlie on top of the piano with the Haden Family ( late 1930s)
Learning about Charlie Haden's musical career, he played with Art Pepper, Hampton Hawes and Elmo Hope before he joined Ornette Coleman. His latest record "Rambling Boy" is rather weird as it is a return to his roots ….. the period he grew up as a little child star with hill-billy and bluegrass stuff ..........., unless you know more about the period that he was just a kid.
Mary, Carl, cowbow Charlie, Virginia and Jimmy Carl jr. ( early 1940s)
Born in August 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa he grew up in a musical family. As a kid he performed already in a daily radio show by KWTO ( = Keep Watching the Ozarks) networks with the Haden family, a legendary midwest music institution during the 1930s and 1940s. His father led a family band, entitled the Haden Family. Each morning they had a radio program with hill-billy and country music and still being a toddler Charlie sung as the little two-year old Charlie, the youngest cowboy singer and yodeller on the air. I remember singing on the radio each morning before I went off to school. I did that every day until I was fifteen. Charlie sung up to his eighteenth year in the family band. When he joined, as a teenager, one of the Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts in Omaha, Nebraska, where he heard Charlie Parker playing the alto saxophone, he decided to become a jazz musician. He left for Los Angeles with a plywood bass and got into the jazz scene - although he started at the conservatory, he didn't finish it.
Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden ( 1980)

The Charlie Haden Family & Friends Rambling Boy album is a trip back in time. He invited his family and friends to join him on this record: his wife Ruth Cameron, his children Josh and Petra, Rachel and Tanya ( triplets), his son-in-law Jack Black and friends like Roseanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Vince Gill, Bruce Hornsby and Pat Metheny. The album contains almost 20 tracks of country and hill-billy tunes, like Oh Take Me Back, Ocean of Diamonds and He's Gone Away. The Haden Triplets are to be heard as a vocal trio in Single Girl, Married Girl and A Voice From A High. Is This America, featuring Pat Metheny on guitar, is a composition dedicated to the 2005 hurricane Katrina. The selections ends with a historical 1939 radio fragment from the Haden Family Show with a 2 years old
Cowboy Charlie.
The Haden family now-a-days
Love to finish with a film fragment about the making of this Rambling Boy album. Enjoy it.

This album, well designed, shows an unknown side of Charlie Haden - a quest for his youth ...... a must-have if you love to enlarge your musical outlook.
Hans Koert

The career of Charlie Haden seems to have been developed into an upward trend: Art Pepper, Elmo Hope, the legendary Double Quartet of Ornette Coleman and his Quartet West recordings. But few people know that, when the young 18-years old Charlie moved to California with his plywood bass, he had finished a 16 year career as the youngest cowboy singer and yodeller on the air. Keep swinging loves to point you to his period in his life with his latest album, containing music from his youth. Ask for the weekly newsletter.

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Blogger Jo said...

Interesting story and a recording pointing to the true fact that you cannot escape your roots without denying a part of yourself! Thanks for reminding us about that!!!


4:32 PM  

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