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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 it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.