149

Don Cherry: Symphony for Improvisors

By

Sign in to view read count
It is gratifying to read A.B. Spelling's original liner notes for Don Cherry's 1966 recording Symphony for Improvisers, the first sentence of which begins "The New Music is no longer new and goes on to point out the developments over the preceding ten years. Free jazz is still a powerful draw for musicians and still inspires indifference at best from most listeners. Perhaps this newly remastered CD from a high point of the genre's history will reel in a few new converts.

The recording quality is, as you'd expect, impeccable—and in addtiion to Spellman's original notes we have further enlightenment from Rudy Van Gelder, who provides valuable insight into the music itself. The title is a bit misleading, suggesting much more intricate music played by a much larger group than is the case. It's really a small (though top notch) band mostly blowing free over rudimentary forms. The biggest marvel about it, aside from some of the inspired playing, is its seamless movement from one piece to the next and how lightly, yet sometimes emphatically, the composed music coexists with the improvised.

Cherry's writing here is still redolent of the influence of Ornette Coleman, but otherwise he stepped out of the big man's shadow and assumed the mantle of leader with confidence and strength, assembling a strong group that includes Pharoah Sanders, Gato Barbieri, Henry Grimes, Karl Berger, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, and the titanic Ed Blackwell, who gives the sometimes raucous music the rhythmic underpinnings found in all great jazz. Cherry's trumpet playing is also at it's best: loose, lyrical and hair-raising at times.

Track Listing: Symphony for Improvisers: Symphony for Improvisers/Nu Creative Love/Wha; Manhattan Cry: Manhattan Cry/Lunatic/Sparkle Plenty/Om Nu.

Personnel: Gato Barbieri: tenor saxophone; Karl Berger: piano, vibraphone; Ed Blackwell: drums; Don Cherry: trumpet, cornet; Henry Grimes: bass; Jean-Fran

Title: Symphony for Improvisors | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Satori" CD/LP/Track Review Satori
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Rejoice! I'm Dead!" CD/LP/Track Review Rejoice! I'm Dead!
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "BACHanalia" CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "The Duke Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Duke Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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