Jamie Breiwick: Awake: The Music of Don Cherry

Mark Sullivan By

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Jamie Breiwick: Awake: The Music of Don Cherry
Trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry is best known for his long association with composer/saxophonist Ornette Coleman. But he also had a diverse career as a bandleader and composer in his own right, and was especially prominent in the fusion of jazz and world music. Wisconsin-based trumpeter Jamie Breiwick mostly draws from Cherry's solo repertoire for this set—with the addition of one Coleman composition—also using the pocket trumpet (which Cherry often played) on some tracks.

Capturing Cherry's spirit requires the kind of openness he was known for, and Breiwick and his trio (bassist Tim Ipsen and drummer Devin Drobka) totally have that covered. The program opens with "Art Deco" (one of Cherry's best known compositions and the title tune of one of his albums). It is a sprightly theme with a bebop feel, probably not what most listeners associate with him, and includes a fine double-bass solo.

"Brown Rice" is another title tune from one of Cherry's albums, a languid melody overlaid on a bass ostinato. The conclusion gives Drobka space to explore rhythmically. "Race Face" is the Coleman entry, another ostinato-based theme which Cherry had explored more than once, notably in the Codona trio with Collin Walcott and Nana Vasconcelos. "Mahakali" is the final Cherry composition. Introduced by bass and drums, it continues the groove with trumpet, and features a drum solo..

The short set concludes with alternate takes of "Art Deco" and "Brown Rice." They further demonstrate the trio interplay. This is an excellent evocation of Don Cherry's spirit, as well as a demonstration of the communication that a trumpet trio can achieve.

Track Listing

Art Deco; Awake Nu; Brown Rice; The Thing; Race Face; Mahakali; Art Deco (alt take); Brown Rice (alt take).


Jamie Breiwick: trumpet, pocket trumpet; Tim Ipsen: bass; Devin Drobka: drums.

Album information

Title: Awake: The Music of Don Cherry | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Shifting Paradigm Records

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