Born: Oct 11, 1971 in New York, NY
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/ Rock
One of three daughters of jazz bassist Charlie Haden, Petra Haden was born in 1971 in Manhattan. Haden's early life was steeped in music, and not only from her father - she and her two sisters sang together all the time, and at a very early age she demonstrated not only an extraordinary ear for music but also the ability to re-create the sounds of musical instruments with her own voice, in pop, classical, jazz, blues, or any other idiom or genre one cared to name. She began studying the violin when she was eight years old, and by her teens she was on her way to becoming a virtuoso, although she also displayed proficiency on the trumpet, mandolin, and various keyboard instruments, making her a true multi-instrumentalist.
It was Haden's voice, with its extraordinary range, however, that most caught people's ears. She and her sister Rachel, along with Anna Waronker (the daughter of renowned producer Lenny Waronker) and drummer Tony Maxwell, formed the group that dog. in 1992. The Los Angeles-based indie pop/rock group lasted until 1997 and released three albums. Before their split, Haden recorded her first solo album, Imaginaryland, in 1996. In the ensuing decade, she worked with such artists as Sean Lennon, Victoria Williams, and guitarist Bill Frisell, with whom she started playing live at one club date in Seattle. That led to the recording of a self-titled duet album that crossed classical, country, pop, jazz, and world music. She has also worked with her siblings as part of the Haden Sisters trio.
In early 2005, Bar/None Records released Haden's The Who Sell Out, a recording that she worked on intermittently for three years, recording and reinterpreting the classic Who album in its entirety with solely her own voice, recorded a cappella. The result was a 39-minute recording that sounded like the Roches crossed with the Swingle Singers.
-Bruce Eder (All Music Guide)