I’ve been listening to pianist Al Haig on and off, with great pleasure, since I started digging into the finally-reissued classic Charlie Parker sides back in the mid-’70s. This is pretty much the standard line and all I knew about him. I find the work I’ve heard from his rediscovery period decent but very nostagia-ridden and so decided to get what I didn’t have from his prime — namely those “little known” dates from 1954.
So checking around online I am zapped to discover Haig was accused but acquitted of killing his third wife in 1968. On top of that there’s what seems to be a remarkable book by his second wife, Death of a Bebop Wife , that suggests he very well could have done it and gotten away. That book sure flew by under the radar — I didn’t even know it existed and can track down no published reviews online.
Shows there’s always surprises out there. I missed Haig’s brief obit in the NY Times back in 1982 (that’s no surprise), but sure enough the murder is referenced in the last line (though they got his age wrong). Huh.