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Haden Voyage

March 09, 1997

My well-worn fedora is off to RJ Smith for his passionate, eloquent profile of Charlie Haden ("All That L.A. Jazz," Jan. 19). I've read some good articles on the bassist, but Smith really fleshed out this talented, skilled, dedicated, spiritual musician. Haden's Quartet West is a blend of romanticism, optimism, nostalgia, melancholy and pure swinging. And what a treat it was to sit in on the CalArts class and the guided tour of L.A.'s jazz past.

David Challinor

Santa Barbara

*

In the early '60s, I picked up a Denny Zeitlin piano trio album and was distracted by the monster bass player. Then I acquired some mid-'70s Keith Jarrett-Dewey Redman LPs, and there was that killer bassist again. To me, he's not only the first Charlie Haden but he's also the next Charles Mingus.

Allan V. Pena

Torrance

*

The band at L.A.'s Hillcrest Club was led by Paul Bley, not by Ornette Coleman, as was implied.

David M. Sherr

Santa Monica

*

Editor's Note: Haden confirms Sherr's point but denies the puckish Bley's claim that he auditioned for Bley in his bare feet. "I didn't audition for Paul at all," Haden says, "and I've never, ever gone barefoot."

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