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 grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.