Charlie Haden's memorial at Town Hall on January 13th, 2015
Bill along with Charlie Haden's family, Ravi Coltrane, Brandee Younger, Mark Fain and others perform in celebration.
“Charlie didn’t have sarcasm or irony,” the bassist Putter Smith said at Charlie Haden’s memorial concert at Town Hall on Tuesday. “He had true empathy.”
Empathy is a word heard a lot around jazz musicians, sometimes to the point of cliché. It is understood as a useful background principle. Ideally, improvisers on a bandstand — and many of the greatest ones alive were onstage or in the audience on Tuesday — are making real-time exchanges, and not for a fixed result. In the best cases, they’re trying to extend a communal action beyond what they think they know. If they’re in it for private, short-game reasons, the audience hears it, and the music goes nowhere.