DON CHERRY

Avant-Garde Jazz / World Fusion / Acid Jazz / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Post Bop / Fusion • United States
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A founder of free-jazz, pocket trumpeter

Born in Oklahoma City but raised in Los Angeles by music-loving parents, Don Cherry spent his childhood surrounded by the sounds of the swing music of the 30s and 40s. By his early teens he had taken up the trumpet, and by his late teens he was already working as a professional musician in the be-bop field. In the latter half of the 1950s his future as one of the leading names in the jazz avant-garde was set in motion by a chance meeting with saxophonist Ornette Coleman in a record store; before long he was a full-time member of Coleman's quartet, developing a new form of musical expression on the club circuit. With the release of the quartet's first album Something Else!!! in 1958, the free jazz movement was given its first substantial public statement - a development for which, at the time, many
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Codona Trilogy [3 CD]Codona Trilogy [3 CD]
Box set · Limited Edition
ECM Records 2009
$25.16
$21.12 (used)
Brown Rice [LP]Brown Rice [LP]
A&M 2019
$16.08
$18.73 (used)
Singles Collection 1950-59Singles Collection 1950-59
Acrobat 2019
$13.98
$16.49 (used)
ActionsActions
Intuition 2002
$11.87
$9.53 (used)
Complete Communion [LP]Complete Communion [LP]
Blue Note 2015
$15.96
$19.98 (used)
Mu First Part, Mu Second Part, Orient ( 2 CD Media Book )Mu First Part, Mu Second Part, Orient ( 2 CD Media Book )
SNAPPER MUSIC LTD. 2017
$11.09
$16.40 (used)
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DON CHERRY Discography

DON CHERRY albums / top albums

DON CHERRY Complete Communion album cover 4.42 | 7 ratings
Complete Communion
Avant-Garde Jazz 1966
DON CHERRY Symphony For Improvisers album cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
Symphony For Improvisers
Avant-Garde Jazz 1966
DON CHERRY Where Is Brooklyn? album cover 3.58 | 6 ratings
Where Is Brooklyn?
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
DON CHERRY 4.25 | 4 ratings
"mu" First Part
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
DON CHERRY 3.96 | 4 ratings
"mu" Second Part
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
DON CHERRY Eternal Rhythm album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Eternal Rhythm
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
DON CHERRY Relativity Suite album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Relativity Suite
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
DON CHERRY Eternal Now (aka Tibet) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Eternal Now (aka Tibet)
World Fusion 1974
DON CHERRY Don Cherry (aka Brown Rice) album cover 4.15 | 10 ratings
Don Cherry (aka Brown Rice)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
DON CHERRY Hear & Now album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Hear & Now
Fusion 1977
DON CHERRY El Corazon (with Ed Blackwell) album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
El Corazon (with Ed Blackwell)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1982
DON CHERRY Don Cherry & Latif Khan album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Don Cherry & Latif Khan
World Fusion 1982
DON CHERRY Home Boy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Home Boy
Acid Jazz 1985
DON CHERRY Art Deco album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Art Deco
Post Bop 1989
DON CHERRY Multikulti album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Multikulti
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1990
DON CHERRY Dona Nostra album cover 3.57 | 3 ratings
Dona Nostra
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994

DON CHERRY EPs & splits

DON CHERRY live albums

DON CHERRY Togetherness album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Togetherness
Avant-Garde Jazz 1966
DON CHERRY Organic Music Society album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Organic Music Society
World Fusion 1972
DON CHERRY Don Cherry (aka Orient) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Don Cherry (aka Orient)
World Fusion 1973
DON CHERRY Blue Lake album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blue Lake
World Fusion 1974
DON CHERRY Live Ankara album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live Ankara
World Fusion 1978
DON CHERRY Brotherhood Suite/ In Stockholm (with Bernt Rosengren Group ) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Brotherhood Suite/ In Stockholm (with Bernt Rosengren Group )
World Fusion 1997
DON CHERRY Jazz Legends (Live at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, 1986) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Legends (Live at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, 1986)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
DON CHERRY Movement Incorporated album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Movement Incorporated
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
DON CHERRY Live at Café Montmartre 1966 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Café Montmartre 1966
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
DON CHERRY Live at Café Montmartre 1966, Volume Two album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Café Montmartre 1966, Volume Two
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
DON CHERRY Live at Café Montmartre 1966, Volume Three album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Café Montmartre 1966, Volume Three
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
DON CHERRY Don Cherry Quintets featuring Archie Shepp & Gato Barbieri : Copenhagen 1963 & Hilversum 1966 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Cherry Quintets featuring Archie Shepp & Gato Barbieri : Copenhagen 1963 & Hilversum 1966
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
DON CHERRY Live in Europe '64 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Europe '64
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
DON CHERRY Live In Nervi 1979 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Nervi 1979
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
DON CHERRY Live in Stockholm album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Stockholm
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
DON CHERRY Modern Art album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Modern Art
World Fusion 2014
DON CHERRY Musical Monsters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Musical Monsters
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016
DON CHERRY Studio 105, Paris 1967 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Studio 105, Paris 1967
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018
DON CHERRY Cherry, Don / Marion Brown / Evan Parker / John Stevens : Free Jazz Meeting Baden Baden '67 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cherry, Don / Marion Brown / Evan Parker / John Stevens : Free Jazz Meeting Baden Baden '67
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018
DON CHERRY Universal Silence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Universal Silence
World Fusion 2019

DON CHERRY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DON CHERRY Malkauns: Slow to Speak Issue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Malkauns: Slow to Speak Issue
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008

DON CHERRY re-issues & compilations

DON CHERRY 0.00 | 0 ratings
"Mu" First Part / "Mu" Second Part
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
DON CHERRY The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Don Cherry album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Don Cherry
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
DON CHERRY The Sonet Recordings: Eternal Now / Live Ankara album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sonet Recordings: Eternal Now / Live Ankara
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
DON CHERRY Don Cherry Featuring Ornette Coleman & Steve Lacy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Cherry Featuring Ornette Coleman & Steve Lacy
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
DON CHERRY Actions (with Krzysztof Penderecki) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Actions (with Krzysztof Penderecki)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
DON CHERRY Orient / Blue Lake album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Orient / Blue Lake
World Fusion 2003
DON CHERRY Complete Communion : Live in Hilversum May 9, 1966 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Complete Communion : Live in Hilversum May 9, 1966
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019
DON CHERRY Live at Yubin Chokin Kaikan Hall, Tokyo on May 14, 1986 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Yubin Chokin Kaikan Hall, Tokyo on May 14, 1986
World Fusion 2019

DON CHERRY singles (0)

DON CHERRY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

DON CHERRY Reviews

DON CHERRY Complete Communion

Album · 1966 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Recorded in 1966, “Complete Communion” was Don Cherry’s first album as sole leader. Having already spent time as co-leader with the likes of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and Sonny Rollins, Cherry was more than ripe for his turn to lead things. On board with him is Gato Barbieri, who had met Don in Rome and was interested in trying out this ‘new thing’ called free jazz. Rounding out the band is Henry Grimes on bass and Edward Blackwell on drums. Right off the bat this album bears a strong resemblance to Cherry’s early 60s work with Ornette, which is no big surprise since Blackwell is on drums. Eddie’s drumming with Ornette and Don had helped define the group since he joined them in 1960, and likewise his unique skills also help define this outing giving it some Ornette quartet similarity. Yes, there are those similarities in basic style, but “Complete Communion” is hardly a facsimile as both Cherry and Gato spin their unique take on what can happen within this 60s free bop framework.

The whole album was recorded in one take with every tune butted up against each other without break. In fact its not often exactly clear where one song starts and the other ends, which is a good thing. This one take approach makes for a very imaginative arrangement and it is one of this album’s big pluses. The various tunes that come and go owe a large debt to the work of Bird and Diz, which is also a very good thing. Once the players dig into their solos, they often have a four way conversation going, but also there are times where any one of the performers might step to the forefront, particularly Don and Gato. While Cherry is mostly melodic on here, Gato often goes for an Archie Shepp style barrage of notes and above the normal range high pitched excursions. Despite how well he handles all of this, Gato did not stay in the avant-garde scene for long, which is another feature that makes this album unique.

This is an excellent album that, much like what Miles was playing live at this time, rides that border between free jazz and really out there post bop. Fans of Don’s early work with Ornette will dig hearing another possibility of where that music could end up. It also helps that the recording quality on ‘Communion’ is very good. Some are critical of this album claiming that Cherry will find his true voice as a leader when he starts working with African and Asian influences, but taken on its own merit, this album is one far out be-bop trip.

DON CHERRY Organic Music Society

Live album · 1972 · World Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Every once in a while i pick up an album simply because the album cover artwork is just so beautiful that i just have to buy it so i can hear what kind of music lurks inside accompanying such visual beauty. Such was the case with DON CHERRY’s 1972 foray into his spiritual jazz meets ethnic world fusion album ORGANIC MUSIC SOCIETY which has one of the most colorful and stimulating wrap around album covers i’ve ever seen especially in a musical genre that tends to be conservative more often than not displaying the artists in some uninspiring pose with unobtrusive colors and settings. I actually picked up the modern CD version which is a faithful representation of the original vinyl LP only reduced in size complete with all the inner artwork and as a bonus a big fat little booklet that explains everything about this album including all kinds of juicy details of how the journey of ideas unfolded for such CHERRY’s growing interest in global fusion and how it all came together complete with archival photos as icing on the cake. Sold!

What i was expecting was the usual avant-garde free form jazz that CHERRY dished out in the 60s but what i heard instead was not only surprising but made me realize that ORGANIC MUSIC SOCIETY was actually his first effort in fusing world ethnic forms of music with his unique style of jazz playing and this could unofficially be thought of as the very first Codona album as 2/3 of the band is here and this was CHERRY’s first formal collaboration with berimbau player and percussionist Nana Vasconcelos. As the CD begins it doesn’t take long to realize that this isn’t a jazz album at all but a more eclectic album that does its best to incorporate as many sounds from across the globe as possible with only the occasional trumpet presenting itself on only a handful of tracks representing the world of jazz.

The album begins with “North Brazilian Ceremonial Hymn” which is basically a long drawn spiritual chant with some sort of drone accompanying a repetitive litany of wordless vocalizations and a parade of percussion that alternates between some kind of bells jingling and other shaky things. The opening track does more than establish ORGANIC MUSIC SOCIETY as a non-jazz dominated album but also sets the tone for a contemplative and meditative experience where the listener is hypnotized by the swell of repetitive passages that only vary slightly from one measure to another. Whereas the opening track commences with nary a jazz instrument nor syncopation to be found, others such as the second track “Elixir” while not jazz per se do contain a jazz trumpet solo where CHERRY leaves his unequivocal sound after a haunting ethereal opening and in the midst of an energetic African rhythmic section where he has license to pierce the din with his high pitched squeals like an elephant trampling through the jungles of the Congo.

ORGANIC MUSIC SOCIETY was originally released as a double vinyl LP and just barely fits onto one modern day CD at a bloated running time of 79:35. I have to admit that this is a brilliant album that encompasses a wide swath of global timbres, styles and rhythms but at the same time it’s hard to take in on a single listen as it tends to wear out its welcome towards the end where i start itching to hear something else more energetic. A great start indeed for CHERRY’s expedition into the sonic possibilities of eclectic world jazz fusion but ORGANIC MUSIC SOCIETY seems like it could have been subjected to a little more editing and / or sprucing up in the experimental department but then again i’ve already been spoiled by the superior future Codona albums that would take the approach of this album and refine it into a more sophisticated tapestry of influences. This album does deliver in its ORGANIC approach nevertheless and truly feels like it was birthed in the experimental energies of the 1972 timeline. While not being my top pick for a world jazz fusion album, this album definitely has a nice meditative global feel to it that warrants a listen although best digested in partial samplings at any given time instead of a single sprawling experience since the tracks are all interesting examples of global world fusion but at the same time don’t always hang together so well. Still though, more than enough here to recommend.

DON CHERRY Dona Nostra

Album · 1994 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
American trumpet/cornet player Don Cherry came to advanced jazz music scene in late 50s - eraly 60s, when he played on such cornerstone albums as Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come"(1959) and "Free Jazz"(1961)and John Coltrane's "The Avant-Garde"(1961). Starting from mid 60s he released series of famous albums as leader (on Blue Note), later moved to Europe where became one of a cult figure for years.

Starting from late 70s besides of other best world jazz artists as Miles Davis or Herbie Hancock,Cherry experienced serious decline of popularity partially related with the end of success of jazz fusion - chronologically the last jazz genre still enjoyed cult status and major following around the world. As both above mentioned giants,Cherry tried to find a new place in music,flirting with electronics and acid jazz,but he still stayed mostly a "Legend from the past" till his last days.

"Dona Nostra" is Cherry's last studio album,released just a year before him passing away.German ECM produced and distributed,this album surprisingly didn't receive any significant attention,and probably one of reasons was the time around wasn't right for music like that.

Another reason of modest popularity most probably was album's music itself. Recorded in ECM usual Rainbow Studio in Oslo,"Dona Nostra" contains mostly characteristic Nordic jazz (often known as "ECM sound"). Even if Cherry is stated as leader, in reality he is a guest of highly professional band,led by pianist Bobo Stenson(Jan Garbarek early band's member and,later,regular Tomasz Stanko pianist).As one can expect, great Nordic band plays great Nordic jazz here - ECM type(down-tempo, cool, aerial, generally groove-less) with Cherry trumpet soloing here and there. Some reprieve from comfortable sameness is Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz (who played with Cherry on his many early European world fusion albums from early 70s) - where possible he adds North African and Middle East rhythms which works as fresh blood for refined but very often lifeless music.

The standing alone piece is center-placed Coleman's "Race Face". This song,full of groove,Cherry trumpet soloing and true jazz energy sounds as it was added here by mistake after it slipped under strict ECM boss control.

In all,far not a bad album,especially for those loving quite safe ECM sound from 90s, it sounds as a requiem to Cherry. He was a great musician and he left us lot of good music,even if time requirements and musical fashions around not always were on his side.

DON CHERRY "mu" Second Part

Album · 1969 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Miler72
I found an original LP of this, BYG/Actuel at my nearby Eugene, Oregon record store (this record store also sold a ton BYG/Actuel reprints in the jazz department). I was wanting to expand on my BYG/Actuel collection, stemming from my early childhood when my dad owned a copy of Musica Elettronica Viva's The Sound Pool, which really scared me as a kid, but I've came to terms with it since. Strangely, I only first knew of Don Cherry back in 1996 when I bought a copy of Steve Hillage's L. Other than the latter-day version of Todd Rundgren's Utopia appearing on it (other than Todd himself, who produced the album), Don Cherry also appears on it. Turns out he had a career in jazz music.

Mu Second Part was obviously from the same sessions that brought you the first. It could have been easily a double album, but it wasn't, probably because the first installment was the first ever release on BYG's Actuel subsidiary. It's unbelievable how much could be accomplished with just two musicians. He literally plays everything except drums and percussion (Ed Blackwell does that). This is rather unconventional jazz with an experimental bent, and ethnic influences showing up from time to time, especially the percussion and bamboo flute. Other times it's more traditional-like jazz, but still would make any smooth jazz listener a bit uncomfortable. The production of the album is awful, as is many of the other titles on BYG/Actuel (Gong's Magick Brother and Ame Son's Catalyse are particularly bad examples, even though those are good albums, musically), but it's a nice album to have for those looking for off-the-wall jazz.

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