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Ballad of Fallen
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Bassist Charlie Haden reactivated the concept behind his late '60s Liberation Music Orchestra for this 1983 studio project, built around songs from the Spanish Civil War and other 20th century civil conflicts in the Spanis... more »
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Bassist Charlie Haden reactivated the concept behind his late '60s Liberation Music Orchestra for this 1983 studio project, built around songs from the Spanish Civil War and other 20th century civil conflicts in the Spanish and Portuguese diaspora, including Chile and El Salvador. As arranged by Carla Bley (who, like Haden, also contributes originals), these 12-piece orchestrations showcase virtuoso players (including Dewey Redman, Michael Mantler, Paul Motian, and Jim Pepper)in luminous, restrained settings that capture both the dignity of the sources and the sorrow, anger, and pride elicited by their history. Even without its political subtext, The Ballad of the Fallen is a rich, elegiac marvel of large ensemble jazz. --Sam Sutherland
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Haden's strongest and most heartfelt work
Reckless DC Music | Whitneyville, CT USA | 01/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know that I am biased because this album had a more profound effect on me than any other recording I have ever experienced. In part this is due to the collaboration between Haden and Carla Bley. They put together an extraordinary mix of tonal folk music, brass band sounds, Spanish melodies and free jazz that never sound forced. Each piece logically blends into the next even when the styles are clearly being juxtaposed. Haden's sound and his ideas are beautiful from beginning to end. Also, his restraint. Imagine putting out a full-length album where you only solo about three times! But he more than makes up for it with his strong and clear supporting bass lines. This album leaves a little room for everyone on the session to have a say. Whenever I play it for my students they too, are left speechless. Who says politics and art can't mix. They do so to great end on this album. Also, the arrangement on Silence is perfect. It builds from Cherry's solo trumpet to a full orchestrated sound and when Carla Bley completes the piece with solo piano at its end . . . there are no words to describe the catharsis that takes place. This album is a masterpiece that should never be allowed to be out of print."
Remember the victims of south american dictatorships
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 09/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"November 1982.Charlie Haden and eleven musicians,including many members of the Liberation Music Orchestra, went into a german studio to record this Ellington-like suite,dedicated to the victims of the sadly known south american dictatorships.Carla Bley,Sharon Freeman,Mick Goodrick,Jack Jeffers,Michael Mantler,Don Cherry,Gary Valente,Steve Slagle,Jim Pepper,Paul Motian and Dewey Redman were here that day to create this masterpiece.The first tune,"els segadors",is a song of the spanish civil war,which became the official hymn of the Catalan Republic."the ballad of the fallen" is a folk song from El Savador,and the lyrics which inspired the tune were found on the body of a student massacred by the national guard of his country."if you want to write to me" was a fighting song of the spanish republican armies."grandola vila morena" was a song signaling the young army officers to revolt against the fascist portuguese government in 1974."the people united will never be defeated" was the anthem of the Chilean resistance against his terrible dictator,Augusto Pinochet."la santa espina" is an old song from Catalonia,often sung during the spanish civil war."La Pasionaria" is dedicated to Dolores Ibarruri,who shouted the famous slogan "no pasaran" against fascists.Another haunting version of this tune was later recorded by Geri Allen,with Haden and Motian,on the japanese DIW label.To those who don't speak spanish, "no pasaran" means "they shall not pass".
Jazz ? Is this jazz ? Some will say no,this is not; but what is jazz ? Jazz is the music of freedom,and also the response against racism,ragging,all kinds of humiliations, and non respect.So, this is definetely a jazz record,of course, but more than this,a great moment of music and love for all the victims of the men's madness."
Another moving and lyrical set by Haden
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | 09/28/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Charlie Haden has provided a valuable servie in presenting both The Liberation Music Orchestra and the Ballad of the Fallen. The latter work is more lyrical than the first but filled with the same smoldering passion. Haden continues to be one of Jazz's primary bass resources, both in the feeling and movement of his music and the direction of his selections."