Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra - Time/Life album review: a fitting farewell

Thu, Oct 20, 2016, 13:15



Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra



Charlie Haden assembled his politically charged Liberation Music Orchestra only occasionally, and only when he had something he wanted to say. The starry ensemble’s eponymous debut came in 1969, at the height of opposition to the Vietnam war, while their last, 2005’s Not in Our Name referenced the invasion of Iraq.

Time/Life, subtitled Songs for the Whales and Other Beings, is the great bassist’s environmental swansong. It opens and closes with live recordings – among the last made before Haden’s death in 2014 – including a luminous version of Miles Davis’s Blue in Green.

The rest of this powerful, emotionally charged album was recorded by his grieving fellow musicians the day after Haden’s memorial service in New York, and is a fitting farewell to a great and courageous musician.