We'll inaugurate August with the 82nd birthday of a legend's legend.
I covered him once before, a few years ago when he died.
While he was alive, I was lucky enough to see him play, as part of several ensembles, a whole bunch of memorable and very different times.
Remember when I was talking about seeing the last public performance of Alice Coltrane? I'll give you one guess who the bass player was that night.
I guess most people think of him as "Ornette's bass player," that's the designation in which his name is most frequently mentioned.
Of course he was much more than that, although those records still stand as foundations upon which everything since has been built.
His discography page goes on for so long, they might need a new internet to hold all the records he's been a part of.
I mean, who else has played bass on records by Michael Brecker, Archie Shepp and... Beck???
Seriously, who in his ridiculously prolific 50+ year career did Charlie Haden not play with?
I know one group he had of his own that still stirs the heartstrings of many, that's for sure.
Beginning in 1969 and continuing on and off for the remainder of his life, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra -- truly one of the most all-star bands ever assembled -- is for whole lot of folks his pinnacle achievement as a musician and composer.
Essentially dedicated to Left political songs and anthems of the 20th Century, there are fully none of their several albums I can say I don't like.
Which brings us to this 69 minutes of transcendence, taped in Berlin's legendary Philharmonie in 1982 and featuring a whole slew of heavyweights.
Charlie Haden/Liberation Music Orchestra
02 Els Segadors
03 The Ballad of the Fallen
04 If You Want to Write to Me
05 Grândola, Vila Morena
07 The People United Will Never Be Defeated
08 La Santa Espina
09 CH announcement
11 encore interlude
12 Song Of The United Front
13 El Quinto Regimiento
14 Los Quatros Generales
15 Viva La Quince Brigada
Total time: 1:09:07
Michael Mantler - trumpet
Don Cherry - cornet & percussion
Gary Valente - trombone
Sharon Freeman - French horn
Jack Jeffers - tuba
Jim Pepper - tenor saxophone
Dewey Redman - tenor & alto saxophones
Steve Slagle - tenor & soprano saxophones
Carla Bley - piano & percussion
Mick Goodrick - guitar
Charlie Haden - bass
Paul Motian - drums & percussion
Lewojazz/Tom Phillips remaster of a 320/48k RBB Kulturradio rebroadcast
448 MB FLAC/August 2019 archive link
I'll return in a couple of days with the first of about 50 million milestone birthdays on tap for this month.
Do enjoy this lovely instance of the LMO in full flight though, and whilst you do remember who put it all together: the masterly and unforgettable Charlie Haden, born this day in 1937.--J.
8.6.1937 - 7.11.2014