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1
Brown Rice
Don Cherry
05:14
2
Utopia and Visions
Don Cherry, Tommy Koverhult, Tommy Goldman, Maffy Falay, Tage Siven, Okay Temiz
06:33
3
What Reason Could I Give
Don Cherry, Lennart Aberg, Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin, Anders Kjellberg, Okay Temiz
03:47
4
Sounds From The Bush
Mandingo Griot Society, Don Cherry
03:55
5
Bitter Funeral Beer
Don Cherry, Bitter Funeral Beer Band, K. Sridhar
10:06
6
P.S. Unless One Has (Blues Connotation)
Ornette Coleman
05:17
7
The Blessing
John Coltrane, Don Cherry
07:50
8
Surrender Rose
Don Cherry
03:30
9
The Mysticism of My Sound
Don Cherry
03:52
10
Mumakata
Codona
08:14
11
One Dance
Don Cherry, Latif Kahn
04:44
12
Call Me
Don Cherry
04:33
13
The Thing - 2005 Remaster
Don Cherry
05:50
14
Els Segadors
Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Don Cherry, Sharon Freeman, Mick Goodrick, Jack Jeffers, Michael Mantler, Paul Motian, Jim Pepper, Dewey Redman, Steve Slagle, Gary Valente
04:15
15
Makondi
Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell
03:48
16
Complete Communion: Complete Communion/And Now/Golden Heart/Remembrance - Remastered
Don Cherry
20:38
17
スワジ
Dollar Brand, Don Cherry, Carlos Ward
01:37
18
The Mystery Song
Steve Lacy, Don Cherry
05:49
19
A.I.R. (All India Radio)
Carla Bley, The Jazz Composer's Orchestra
03:55
20
Dearly Beloved
Sonny Rollins
08:15
21
Don's Dawn
Albert Ayler, Roswell Rudd, Gary Peacock, Sunny Murray, Don Cherry, John Tchicai
01:04
22
The Ecchoing Green
Allen Ginsberg
01:27
23
A Rainbow in the Curved Air - Instrumental
Terry Riley
18:39
24
Maffy
Don Cherry
00:39
25
Relativity Suite: Part I
Don Cherry, Christer Bothen, Bengt Berger
06:52
26
Guinea
Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell
05:29
27
DON
Jon Appleton, Don Cherry
02:10
28
Love in Outer Space
Sun Ra & His Arkestra
07:14
29
Warm To The If In Life
Rip Rig & Panic
04:48
30
Universal Mother
Don Cherry
06:44

Don Cherry

Rarely has a musician been so wholly eclectic and cosmopolitan. We take a look back at the astonishing career of the jazz trumpeter who was always at the service of world music.

He played almost every kind of music, on every kind of instrument, from every continent. It was as though he was exploring not only the spectrum of Great Black Music (from blues to hip-hop), but all of world music, from India to Brazil. At a time when the catch-all term ‘world music’ didn’t yet exist, Don Cherry spent his whole life criss-crossing the globe in order to create his own folklore – the fruit of his wanderingly vast curiosity. As a result, his fan club counted everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Kristof Penderecki and Manu Dibango, to John Lee Hooker, Lou Reed and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Jazz pianist Carla Bley compared him to ET (‘he came from a different planet’) while the ambient electro artist FourTet included him in the pantheon of his favourite musicians of all time. Yet the trumpeter remains one of the 20th century’s most misunderstood jazz greats. Why?

This is, in part, explained by the fact that Don Cherry never played the industry’s game. Like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, he escaped a category as soon anyone thought they’d got him pigeonholed. Just when we imagined him to be one of the major figures of free jazz, having featured on one of Ornette Coleman’s greatest albums of the early sixties, he took off to play with electroacoustic stalwart Jon Appleton and poet Allen Ginsberg. In the 70s it seemed as as though he’d set up shop creating spiritual jazz masterpieces (“Brown Rice”, “Hear & Now”, “Organic Music Society”), but then, before we knew it, he’d wound up on the ethereal German label ECM alongside his friends from the ‘new thing’ in the Old and New Dreams quartet.

We knew him as a trumpeter alongside legends like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Sonny Rollins, but we could also find him on flute, n’goni, or the organ with Codona – a fascinating trio he formed with percussionist Naná Vasconcelos and sitar and tabla player Collin Walcott. He was considered a (quasi) lone wolf in his projects with Terry Riley and Ed Blackwell, but then he also had supercharged adventures with the likes of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and Swedish Bengt Berger’s Bitter Funeral Beer Band. He could talk to the Dagar brothers, exchange with cult dub poet Michael Smith, and embark on a project that pushed the limits of sophisticated pop on Home Boy, produced by free spirit Ramuntcho Matta.

The church of Don Cherry is broad. What he created was all his own, unique, precious, made up of sounds gleaned from the four corners of the world. His discography resembles the house of Ferdinand Cheval (a French postman whose life’s work was constructing a palace from stones, the design of which borrows from a myriad of cultures). Like the creator of that ‘Palais Idéal’, Cherry put imagination above all else: on one of his great records for Blue Note (Complete Communion, 1965), he composed a piece called ‘Elephantasy’. Years later, he would explain that the wordplay reflected his desire to leave the field open to surprises. Where John Coltrane praised supreme love, Don Cherry sought supreme surprise. More than a quarter of a century after his death (on 19th October 1995 in Spain), his sonic nomadism continues to amaze those of us who listen. It’s hard to find anyone who could be considered an heir to his legacy; what musician today can claim to be so profoundly eclectic? The question remains open, as does Don Cherry’s music.

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