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The legendary bassist and bandleader Charlie Haden has had no shortage of excellent work lately. His duet recording with Keith Jarrett Jasmine was critically acclaimed across the globe, his latest Quartet West outing Sophisticated Ladies is being heralded as one of 2011's best jazz recordings and his recent collaborative effort with Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau and Paul Motion titled Live At Birdland once again delivers some of the most virtuosic playing and improvising you will ever hear. And if that's not enough, he was just selected as a 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award recipientthe nation's top honor in jazz. As busy as he is, he did manage to find a few minutes to share a Jazz Backstage story with us. Here Charlie Haden talks about working with collaborator Ruth Cameron and recording one of his all-time favorite songs on the most recent Quartet West album, Sophisticated Ladies.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.