Thank you, Charlie Haden

2014-06-22 06.55.50Dear Charlie Haden

You don’t remember me: we have never met.  But I will never forget you, your incredible sound.  I used to think that there should be a raffle that a young pianist could win, to have a recording session with you!  It was a fantasy that I would get to have you take a long solo on… say ” music for a romantic movie” or one of my waltzes.  It did not happen.

When I was first getting into the music, I did hear you with ” Old and New Dreams”, with Ed Blackwell, Dewey Redmond, and Don Cherry, in  1980.  But now all of you have passed on.  But your sound resonates still in my heart.

,,,Like in the song that Abby Lincoln sang so well”  The First song”.  It is beautiful beyond words. It is the tree of life, unhurried, the water from an Ancient Well, the sun in the meadow, the son returning to the homeland, to the vast Missouri sky of your spirit.

Your sound lives on in everyone who has hear you….the young bassists I play with now, who actually take a breathe when they play, and play one note deeply at a time, each note a tear in your heart.  You will live on, Charlie Haden.

As your life force melds into the universe, your loved ones  are  mourning,  and the rest of us are listening to your music, and remembering how your sounds shaped our lives.  And we thank you, Charlie Haden.  May you be reborn in fortunate circumstances, and bring your sounds to the world again.

Todd Harper: composer/performer

2014-05-09 17.41.10Silence

I have always thought this a moving piece: I am not sure of the back story, this history, although I believe it is political in nature.( I swear I heard a version of this on “People’s Liberation Orchestra “ by Charlie Haden) ( and it is.. from ” ballad of the fallen)

The version I  just heard on the ‘net ( and later just had to buy) was the trio of Charlie Haden ( bass), Jan Garbarek ( soprano saxophone), and Egberto Gismonti ( piano).

The piece is long for a trio- based on a relentless , brooding passage of chords, with close voicings, shifting only a note or two at a time.  I have to transcribe this. It seems to be deep sadness,crying out for justice.

This is a  juxtaposition with “ the season” of unbridled greed, where people trample each other in shopping malls: where people die…

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