Bassist Charlie Haden celebrates his 72nd birthday this month. After a lifetime of music (he’s been recording over 50 years!) KPLU’s Nick Morrison has compiled a top 5 list of songs which best describe Haden. Morrison describes Haden as building his own musical highway rather than running a set path: “To follow him down that freeway is one of the richest experiences in American music. In this list, we visit just a few of the stops along the way so far; with Haden at the wheel, there’s no telling what’s around the corner. After all, he’s a Grammy Award-winning bassist who’s spent a half-century on the cutting edge of jazz, and whose latest Grammy nomination was for Best Country Instrumental (for his 2008 Americana record, Ramblin’ Boy). There’s no second-guessing a guy like that.”
The selections include:
- Charlie Haden/Hank Jones – Wade in the Water – Steal Away
- Ornette Coleman Quartet – Ramblin’ – Change of the Century
- Charlie Haden’s Quartet West – Always Say Goodbye – Always Say Goodbye
- Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra – Not in Our Name – Not in Our Name
- Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny – Our Spanish Love Song – Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
You can listen to each of these songs on NPR.