Bassist Charlie Haden, who helped change the shape of jazz more than a half-century ago as a member of Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking quartet and liberated the bass from its traditional rhythm section role, has died. He was 76.
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-07-12
Haden's wife of 30 years, singer Ruth Cameron, and his four children were by his side when he died Friday in Los Angeles after a prolonged illness, said publicist Tina Pelikan of ECM Records.
Haden's career was marked by the triumph of beauty over suffering. He turned to the bass after losing his singing voice to polio as a teenager when he was performing with the Haden Family country band.
The onset of post-polio syndrome in late 2010 forced him to stop performing publicly, though he played at home to his favorite recordings as well as with visiting musician friends such as guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Alan Broadbent.
During his career, Haden's lyrical bass playing could be heard in a broad range of musical genres, ranging from jazz to country to world music.
Filed under: Obituaries
Related artist(s): Charlie Haden
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