Saturday, July 19, 2014

Country Club 47: the country side of Charlie Haden

Charlie Haden, the great jazz bassist died on July 11.  He is most famous for being part of the revolutionary Ornette Coleman Quartet.  I was fortunate enough to discover Coleman before I graduated from high school. 

In 2009, a wrote a post on George Strait and Haden and commented  about Haden's then new CD, Rambling Boy

a country CD. Not country-twinged jazz or some hybrid. But straight out country. Rambling Boy is not even contemporary country, the music harks back to an older time, circa 1930s-1940s. Haden grew up in a family that was sort of a Midwest Carter family, making a radio debut at age two.
Here's a trailer for a video documentary of Haden. The whole documentary can be seen here.



Here is a performance of the group on the David Letterman show.



Tom Jurek reviewed it on allmusic.com very perceptively (though it is one of those infuriating reviews where you read the review, look at the star rating --3 1/2--and think I thought he was gong to rate it higher.  I would have given it at least 4 stars.)

This 19-song set features all the members of his immediate family -- daughters Petra, Rachel, and Tanya, as well as son Josh. The players and vocalists are numerous but they include guitarist Pat Metheny, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Bruce Hornsby, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, the Whites, Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs, Elvis Costello, and Russ Barenberg, among others. Despite the wide range of players here, this album can only be called Americana in the strictest sense of the term as its selections are new readings of mostly traditional folk and country songs.
On his 1997 CD with Pat Metheny, Beyond the Missouri Sky, Haden included "The Precious Jewell" a country classic by Roy Acuff.



And, here is the original

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