Saw Charlie Haden at REDCAT tonight….his last show ever, I’m told. What a solo to go out on, Blue in Green, all that emotion, that beauty, not a note wasted, not a note that didn’t grab us, it was nearly overwhelming. We let the last thrum fade into the air before bursting into applause. It was an oddly restrained applause, an overcome applause, exhausted applause. Goodbye class, he said, smiling, laughing–he’d laughed all night, laughing and joking and being funny as hell–and was nearly overcome once, remembering Scott LeFaro (they’d been discussing Blue in Green, Bill Evans had said it was his, LeFaro said it was so beautiful it didn’t matter) and he looked about to cry at the thought (after laughing that LeFaro wouldn’t let him date his kid sister)…then after that incredible take on Blue in Green he told the audience that Jim Hall was dead–they gasped–and he nearly fell apart. All this emotion, raw grief, bewilderment at how such talent could just up and disappear like that….we of course were all wondering the same thing. But he caught himself, made another joke, laughed, dismissed us with a whisper–that’s all the polio has left him with, a whisper–and then he smiled. Just smiled. Some smiles you remember, some in fact you’ll never forget. Not ever.
Glad I was there.