July 11th – I am at the North Sea Jazz Festival and messages are coming in from various sources on various social networks: Charlie Haden has passed away age 76. Hard to believe, even so the great man was struggling with health problems the last few years and hardly did perform anymore. I started working – in different functions – with Charlie around 20 years ago. He was then signed to Verve US with the Quartet West, then moved his contract to Universal France and finally I did sign him directly to Emarcy, all of these labels are part of Universal Music. I always had loved Charlie’s music – his beautiful and full sound on the bass, the way he could tell you any story on his instrument, the clearness of his music and the deep emotional content he offered to his listeners. I had listened to him on record and live in Keith Jarrett’s American quartet, Old And New Dreams with Don Cherry and many other combinations. I love the Quartet West and his work with John Taylor and of course The Liberation Music Orchestra. Charlie was a man with many faces, as a human being as well as a musician, but the talks we had about music and movies I will always remember, as well as signing him to Emarcy/Decca and being involved in some of the last recordings he made under his own name: Rambling Boy, Sophisticated Ladies and the second duo album with Hank Jones, Come Sunday.
Great, lasting recordings of a master on his instrument. Charlie will be missed by many, I am one of them.