229

Don Cherry: Orient

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Don Cherry: Orient Don Cherry, who passed away in 1995 at age 59, was a world musician long before the term became fashionable. Two recent early '70s reissues - Orient and Blue Lake (both previously Japan-only releases), help to solidify Cherry as not only one of the greatest (pocket) trumpeters/cornetists that jazz has known, but also one of its most well-rounded musicians.

His global approach and experimentations on Orient (1971), two live dates with separate trios, is supplemented through one half by Dutch percussionist Han Bennink and East Indian tamboura accompaniment. Bennink keeps things constantly moving as Cherry's nomadic musical-self transitions between pocket trumpet, flutes, piano and chanting on the first and last tracks ("Orient" and "Si Ta Ra Ma"). The title piece gets underway with tom-tom drum crescendos spilling over Cherry's Alice Coltrane-like arpeggio runs on piano and humming chants, before segueing dramatically into the leader's frenetic brass playing and Bennink's polyrhythmic percussive displays. After a few minutes the pace changes again with more wooden sounding drums—as well as gongs, bells, chimes, and "small" instruments (as memorably utilized by the Art Ensemble of Chicago).

The other half of Orient features the legendary South African bassist Johnny Dyani and percussionist Okay Temiz. Dyani's plucked and arco bass opening to the first movement of "Eagle Eye"—accompanied by a wistful clay flute, wind-like chimes, and sensitive drum tapping—resonates with the magic that often inspires bassist William Parker these days. The second allegro movement is much more rhythmic and borders on an outpouring of emotion. The third movement then settles the rhythm into gear with a meditative and melodic humming chant offered to the crowd by Cherry. Both trios feature masterful improvisational interplay by what would seem greater than a mere threesome; the experience is captured exquisitely.

The ever-evolving Cherry was a true music master whose example was an anomaly for record labels and music stores. It can never be stressed enough that Cherry, to borrow Ellington's catch phrase, was most definitely "beyond category," making the world a much smaller place.

Track Listing: 1. Orient 2. Eagle Eye 3. Togetherness

Title: Orient | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: BYG-Fruit Tree


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Urban Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Urban Soul
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Twelve Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Twelve Moons
by Phil Barnes
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Karoujite" CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Moments Of Fatherhood" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Of Fatherhood
by John Sharpe
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Fly South" CD/LP/Track Review Fly South
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 10, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.