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Directed by Reto Caduff

Switzerland 2009 89 mins.

Music legends don’t come any more unassuming than Charlie Haden. Courtesy of Reto Caduff’s charming documentary, we discover that the affable jazz bassist’s underlying honesty and decency inform every note of his music. As Haden camps out in a studio to revisit the country music of his youth, he reflects on his rural roots and his debut crooning twangy ballads on the radio at the age of two. Through wondrous archival footage and enlightening interviews, Caduff leads us through the next six decades, detailing Haden’s seminal collaborations with legends like Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, as well as his ongoing projects such as Quartet West and Liberation Music Orchestra. Just as Haden’s simple playing style masks an innate understanding of the complexities of melody and composition, so too does his placid exterior disguise a deep-seated passion that manifests itself in his art, relationships, and politics.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.