Goodbye Charlie



I was very sad to hear that Charlie Haden left us on Friday.

I hung out with Charlie for a while in the early 80's and we'd talk long and late about all those things that we both loved—music, spirit, earth, truth and beauty.

Living in Santa Monica, I had plenty of opportunities to see him play, and did, most memorably with Carla Bley (always a treat) and a wild assortment at Royce Hall, an incomparable, intimate performance with Pat Metheny and Billy Higgins on the floor in the back room at McCabe's, and with Ed Blackwell and Don Cherry.

It wasn't just Charlie's own musicianship and play, it was what he brought forth from and created with other musicians that was magical. It was my fortune that our paths crossed and that I heard him play so often during that time.

Charlie lived a rich life, walked his talk, and did not waste a minute lighting the world for the rest of us.
“We’re here to bring beauty to the world and make a difference in this planet. That’s what art forms are about.”
– Charlie Haden
"While he did not orient himself with a specific religious orientation, Haden was interested in spirituality, especially in association with music. His teaching method relied heavily on spirituality. He believed that in order to establish an individual musical voice, one must first establish a spiritual posture. This physical and mental position will allow the individual to find their own unique musical voice and bring it to their instrument.

"He also encouraged his students to enter a meditative state when they played, one in which they focused solely on the present moment: “there’s no yesterday or tomorrow, there’s only right now,” he claimed.

"In order to find this state, and ultimately to find one’s spiritual self, Haden urged that one must have humility and respect for beauty; they must be thankful for the ability to make music, and to give back to the world with the music they create.

"He claimed that music taught him this process of exchange, so he teaches it to his students in return. Music, Haden believed, also teaches incredibly valuable lessons about life:
"I learned at a very young age that music teaches you about life. When you're in the midst of improvisation, there is no yesterday and no tomorrow — there is just the moment that you are in. In that beautiful moment, you experience your true insignificance to the rest of the universe. It is then, and only then, that you can experience your true significance."
— from Wikipedia entry
"Keith really listens, and I listen. That's the secret. It's about listening. " 
—Charlie Haden
Click Here to hear Charlie and Keith Jarrett play Gordon Jenkins' Goodbye.

Click here for Silence with Charlie, Chet Baker, Billy Higgins and Enrico Pieranunzi.
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