Lost in playing, Charlie Haden bends over his monstrous instrument – the contrabass. The fingers of his left move up and down the neck swiftly, while the fingers of his right work the four strings. His eyes are closed and his face shows emotions from grief to happiness. Haden sings through his instrument and it is apparent in the deep sounds: this is an extraordinary talent.

Musician. Bandleader. Composer. Producer. Teacher. Activist. 69 years old bass player Charlie Haden has been trying to cross boundaries for the past sixty years. He does not confine himself to one or two genres, but plays everything from jazz to pop to classic up to contemporary e-composers. He is revered as one of the world’s best jazz bass players. His lyrical playing and integrative strength is a big part of the Ornette Coleman quartet – the quartet that managed to turn over a new leaf for jazz almost single-handedly. From the start, the bass was, for Haden, not just accompanying the other instruments, but had its own voice.

 

Doc 80’

Director: Reto Caduff

Produced by PiXiU FILMS / SRF / 3sat