Don Cherry

I haven't taken the time to honor Charlie Haden until now. He past away last month and jazz lost one of his great bass players. Haden came to the attention of a wider audience through his work with Ornette Coleman. Listen to "The Shape of Jazz to Come": that's Haden making history alongside Coleman, Don Cherry and Billy Higgins.

I guess Charlie Haden was regarded left-wing in the US. He was politically engaged and his Liberation Music Orchestra was proof of that. Born out of a collaboration with Carla Bley he often criticized the US interference in Latin America and the rest of the world in his music with this particularly band.

I only got the chance to see him once. With the Liberation Music Orchestra at the North Sea Jazz '85. Don't remember if Carla Bley was there as well that night. "We shall overcome" they played. Sure we will, Charlie.

Catched this documentary years ago on television. It was part of a series (BBC co-production) called "Rhythms of the World" and is set around violinist Shankar, Caroline, percussion maestro Trilok Gurtu, ghatam player Vikku Vinayakram and multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry performing on New Years Eve (around 1991-92) in Bombay (nowadays Mumbai).

Also featured are Alice Coltrane, the wife of the legendary John Coltrane and Zakir Hussain. Interviews and Bombay street scenery mix in with concert cuts providing a great impression of Indian atmosphere. The sort of TV show I stayed home for on Saturday evening.