Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
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.


Note: this review originally appeared in All About Jazz: New York .


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

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: BYG-Fruit Tree | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Highly Opinionated
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
Got A Mind to Give Up...
Real Gone Music
2016
buy
[no cover]
"Mu" First Part /...
Nonesuch
2013
buy
[no cover]
Live In Paris April...
Nonesuch
2013
buy
Don Cherry: Live in Stockholm
Don Cherry: Live in...
Caprice Records
2013
buy
[no cover]
Live In Stockholm
Nonesuch
2013
buy
[no cover]
Old And New Dreams
Southport Records
2012
buy
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Yusef Lateef Yusef Lateef
reeds
Sun Ra Sun Ra
keyboard
Carla Bley Carla Bley
piano
Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
piano
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
Pharoah Sanders Pharoah Sanders
saxophone
Julius Hemphill Julius Hemphill
sax, alto

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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