Conversations With Charlie Haden

Conversations With Charlie Haden, the first book devoted to the life of the influential bassist and composer, is due for publication in early 2017

Charlie Haden, who died in 2014, developed a distinctive sound as a bassist and played with many leading jazz musicians, including Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Carla Bley.

Conversations with Charlie Haden is the first book devoted to his life. The book is based on 17 candid interviews conducted with Haden over a 20-year span by jazz critic and author Josef Woodard. The interviews drew from Haden stories that tie together his diverse musical interests, exploratory jazz work, passions, politics, aesthetics, inspirations and more. The publishers say that the book says much about the history of late 20th century jazz and the state of jazz today.

Woodard’s initial conversations with Haden date back to 1988. He says “At that time [1988], at the pivotal age of 50, Haden seemed galvanized in his determination to make certain projects hap­pen, to explore new ideas as a leader rather than a sideman, and to devote himself to a pursuit of truth and purity of intent as a musician. There are many stories in … jazz deserving a place in the public discourse, and Charlie Haden’s grand saga is one of those special and highly personal journeys".

Conversations With Charlie Haden contains forewords from guitarist Bill Frisell and pianist Alan Broadbent. Music writer Michelle Mercer comments: “Joe Woodard’s treasure trove of interviews with Charlie Haden gives us such an intimate portrait of the jazz giant that we feel like we’re sitting in the room with an old friend”.

A Jazz Journal review will be published in a forthcoming issue.

Conversations With Charlie Haden is due to be published by Silman-James Press, Los Angeles, on 15 January 2017. Its price in the USA will be $19.95. UK publication details are still to be announced. Further information can be found on the Silman-James Press website.

Bruce Lindsay

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