Saturday, July 12, 2014

RIP Charlie Haden

The world renowned jazz double bass player Charlie Haden passed away yesterday. How is that relevant for this blog?

Charlie Haden was a gifted singer, performing from the age of 2 years in his family's radio show, until he caught a form of bulbar polio as a teenager - this left him with weak vocal cords and unable to control his pitch. He picked up his brother's double bass and turned out to be one of jazz' greatest double bass players, pairing with Ornette Coleman, Paul Bley, Paul Motian, Carla Bley, Dewey Redman, Bill Frisell and others.

In 2010, Haden got struck by post-polio syndrome, leaving him extremely ill, and, cruelly, nearly unable to swallow. His wish was to play the bass again. Charlie Haden passed away after his long illness with his wife and four children at his side. Our thoughts go out to them.

image credit: Bassist Charlie Haden at radio station KJAZ in Alameda CA, 1981. Photo by Brian McMillen / contact:

1 comment:

  1. I keep meaning to post up how Charlie Haden's story reminded me of a 2013 film about the ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq, who lost the use of her legs from polio--sadly just after passing up an opportunity to get the polio vaccine in 1956 ( ,