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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Peter Garland - String Quartets – Exuberant, bright and energetic, these two string quartets performed by Apartment House ( a traditional line-up of two violins, viola and cello) manage to cover a few centuries’ worth of style while...  (2010) » Read more

Rufus Zuphall - Outside the Gates of Eden – Rufus Zuphall is a German band from Aachen that first hit the stage in 1969. They released three albums in the early 70s and then disintegrated. Because of reissuing their albums on CD, there was...  (2008) » Read more

Robert Wyatt - Comicopera – Robert Wyatt must truly be the most playful world artist on the planet. His tireless efforts making strong musical statements in pop and jazz format stand up and apart from any other British or US...  (2008) » Read more

Jane Anfinson - Precious Details – Violinist Jane Anfinson is the answer for those wanting to mix the grrrl-power sensibilities of Alanis Morissette with the experimentalism of Laurie Anderson and the artful electric violin work of...  (2006) » Read more

The Underground Railroad - Through and Through – While this debut is impressive for its compositional savvy and great arrangements, one needs to remember that two of the main movers in this four-piece unit are guitarist Bill Pohl and keys-man Kurt...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues