Exposé Online banner

Charlie Haden RIP

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

Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden, photo courtesy of ECMHaden'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

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gong - 2032 – In 2032, or so the legend goes, Planet Gong finally makes contact with Earth. And I guess that you can consider 2032 to be the fourth part of the Radio Gnome trilogy. This new release is the first...  (2010) » Read more

Landberk - One Man Tell's Another – Landberk are one-third of the new wave of prog-rock from Sweden, along with countrymen Änglagård and Anekdoten. As with the other two bands, the sound here is based mostly upon organic, 70s-style...  (1994) » Read more

Garden Wall - The Seduction of Madness – I'm not certain if this band is named from the lyric of Genesis' "I Know What I Like," but that could begin to explain the myriad of styles the band employs. Garden Wall has a metalish rhythm section...  (1996) » Read more

In Cahoots - All That – Guitarist and composer Phil Miller has taken full advantage of a rejuvenated outlook as a result of his band’s acclaimed first West Coast appearance. With the addition of new drummer Mark...  (2003) » Read more

Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland – With Cuckooland Robert Wyatt changes direction once again, this time toward jazz. Perhaps “Old Europe” is an early clue to the disc’s orientation, with its lyrical jazz references to...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues