Hearing Charlie Haden, one is almost tempted to say, “They don’t make ’em like that anymore”: in an age of busy bassists who have devoted themselves to agile acrobatics, Haden’s unhurried technique stands out. His lack of conventional “virtuosity” places all the more emphasis on his open-air note choices, his pantonal harmonic sense, and that singing, mournful, resonant tone. (Although he hails from Oklahoma, Haden plays a peculiarly Chicago bass style, in line with that of the late Wilbur Ware and the Art Ensemble’s Malachi Favors.) These qualities were showcased in influential quartets of both the 60s and 70s–the bands led by Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett–and should shine this weekend, when Haden joins with Chicagoans Fred Anderson (the searing tenor existentialist) and drummer Hamid Drake in a promising trio. The impetus for Haden’s visit is the premiere of the documentary Fire From the Mountain, for which Haden wrote and produced the sound track. The film screens tonight at a benefit for the Nicaraguan Solidarity Committee, and Haden will perform unaccompanied at the reception–and also at the Jazz Record Mart Sunday night. From the top: Tonight, 8:30 and 10: 30 PM, Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton; 281-4114 or 281-9075. Saturday, Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood; 465-8005. Sunday, 5 PM, Jazz Record Mart, 11 W. Grand; 222-1467. Sunday, 9 PM, Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood; 465-8005.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lauren Deutsch.