Charlie Haden, Bass, 1937, Shenandoah,LA
Charlie began playing professionally in Los Angeles with Art Pepper in 1957. Before the end of the decade he was working with Paul Bley and Hampton Hawes. In 1959 he went to New York with Ornette Coleman and then became a member of Denny Zeitlin's trio. During the mid '60s Haden recorded with Coleman and began an association with Keith Jarrett. Although Haden worked principally as a sideman, in 1969 he managed to record an album of his own, "Liberation Music Orchestra", which consisted of a number of revolutionary songs and received much acclaim. Around the same time he also worked with Carla Bley and the Jazz Composer's Orchestra. In the early '80s he recorded with a new "Liberation Music Orchestra" which was actually made up of members of Carla Bley's group. The band toured successfully in the U.S. and Europe into the mid 1980s. Haden has a large, warm tone on the bass, with a subtle vibrato which are central to his improvising. In contrast to most bass players of the period, Haden strives for simplicity and a traditional sound an was the perfect bass player with Ornette Coleman's group, in many ways helping the ensemble to swing. Today, Haden is one of the most active bass players in jazz, with his own group and others.
Vic Dickenson, Trombone, 1906, Xenia, OH
Vic began playing in bands during the late '20s in Ohio and Wisconsin. Around 1935 he teamed up with Blanche Calloway, Claude Hopkins, and Benny Carter. During most of the next decade he worked on the East Coast and the West Coast with Eddie Heywood and Count Basie. Vic was the leader of his own group in the Boston area from the mid '50s until the early '60s when he made his home in New York, and worked with Henry "Red Allen and many other prominent jazz musicians. During the 1960s Vic and Red Richards formed a group called Saints and Sinners, with which they toured with George Wein's All Stars. He also made a tour of Asia with Eddie Condon during this period. He first gained a reputation as a section trombonist, rarely soloing, but by the early '40s he emerged with a wonderful style of his own, playing with a blend of humor and a smooth highly-developed technique. He was equally at home with traditional and modern jazz, his tone was always personal, and he was inventive at any tempo. Vic Dickenson died in 1984.
Abbey Lincoln, Singer/Composer, 1930, Chicago, IL
Abbey began singing professionally in the early '50s, changing her name several times, and finally settling on Abbey Lincoln. In the mid '50s she made her first recording with Benny Carter's orchestra. Shortly afterwards, with her own group, including Sonny Rollins and Max Roach, she made some additional recordings that were not too spectacular. In the late '50s Abbey became active as a composer and an actress. From 1962 to 1970 she was married to Max Roach, and through him made contact with many prominent jazz musicians and other people in the business. At this time she met Monk and Charles Mingus, and was encouraged by them to explore a wider range of vocal techniques. She began to sing in a richer poetic style, and he songs contained a greater political and cultural content. Abbey became very active as a strong advocate for racial equality, and this issue was reflected in her lyrics, boldness, and, at times, violence of her vocal style. From around 1968 Abbey appeared in several motion pictures. In the mid '70s she toured Africa, where the names Aminata and Moseka were conferred on her by politicians in Guinea and Zaire respectively. Lately, In her newest work, she has returned to the warm, gentle style that she originally became famous for..
Regina Carter, Violin, Detroit, MI
Regina began playing the violin at age four, and attended the prestigious Cass Technical High School in Detroit. After graduation she attended the New England Conservatory of Music. She never finished at the conservatory, but returned to Michigan to join the all-female jazz quartet Straight Ahead. After doing some recording with the band on the Atlantic label, Regina left in 1994 in search of a solo career. She had already been doing session work in Detroit and sought to make the move permanent. Carter found herself working with Max Roach, The String Trio of New York, and the Uptown String Quartet before recording her self-titled debut recording on Atlantic in 1995. It's mixture of RB, pop, and jazz confused jazz fans and delighted pop critics. It sold well enough for her to record "Something for Grace", which leaned in the jazz direction, though it featured RB sheen in it's production. In 2001 she recorded a duet with Kenny Barron, which has been universally acclaimed for it's lyricle qualities and stunning range of dynamics and harmonic invention. Carter is a highly original soloist whose sophisticated technique and rich tone took the jazz world by pleasant surprise when she arrived on the scene. Filmmaker Ken Burns used Regina on the soundtrack of his film "The Civil War". She has also played with artists as diverse as Faith Evans, Elliot Sharp, and Mary J. Bilge.