Experimental Time Trip

In his magical new album, jazz bassist and composer Charlie Haden evokes the film-noir mood of vintage Los Angeles in a musical-dream autobiography

Charlie Haden plays bass with his eyes closed. He has his own story about that, and it's pretty good.

It's November 1959, and Haden has just pulled into New York City. He's keeping fast company, part of a jazz quartet that also includes drummer Billy Higgins, trumpeter Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, who is exploring the outside edge of the stratosphere with his alto sax. They are opening at the Five Spot, the Manhattan mecca for cutting-edge jazz. It is one of those debut dates that are more like a trial by fire: chops will be checked out, irrevocable judgments passed....

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