Charlie Haden on meeting Ornette Coleman
NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT…
MUSIC: Peace (Ornette Coleman)
CD: The Shape of Jazz To Come
Atlantic Recording Corp. 2005/1959
Charlie Haden: I first heard Ornette at this club on Wilshire blvd called The Haight. And they started playing and it was so brilliant and so human sounding. You know, I’d never heard anything like that in my life. It was like the human voice, you know?
LITTLE DID NEA JAZZ MASTER CHARLIE HADEN KNOW, THE NIGHT HE FIRST HEARD SAXOPHONIST ORNETTE COLEMAN PLAY, HIS MUSICAL COURSE WAS CHARTED FOR LIFE.
Charlie Haden: I said, Man this guy can play, man, I’ve never heard anything like this in my life! This is the way I hear! You know? I told him, I said, man you sure sounded beautiful. He said, thanks man, not many people tell me that. We got to his house and you couldn’t open the door because there was music stuffed under the door EVERYWHERE. On the rug, on the bed, on the dresser, everywhere. I said man, this is fantastic. He said, Yeah, let’s play this. I said, OK. I was scared to death, man. Because I’d never played with him before and he was playing in a way that the normal, traditional jazz musician didn’t play. He didn’t play like that. He said, Now when I heard this song I heard some changes with the melody. But as soon as I play the melody and start to improvise, you just follow me. And I said, Man that’s what I’ve been waitin to do my whole life, man!
CHARLIE HADEN BECAME A MEMBER OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ORNETTE COLEMAN QUARTET IN THE LATE 1950S. THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH BASSIST CHARLIE HADEN WAS CREATED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. I’M CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE.