Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


The Humus of Don Cherry


Sign in to view read count
Cherry often spoke of the idea of "selflessness" and of being "aboriginal," a concept which percussionist Adam Rudolph, curator of this month's Don Cherry Celebration at the Stone Gallery and a longtime collaborator of Cherry from 1978 until his death in 1995, has taken to heart and mind. Cherry, of course, never stayed in one place completely, spending time principally in Sweden, New York, and California during the last two decades of his life, but musically his practice took him everywhere. Percussionist Bengt Berger, who played with Cherry frequently in Sweden, noted how Cherry's curiosity led him to teach Turkish drummer Okay Temiz and trumpeter Maffay Falay the fundamental principles of Turkish folk music by asking them to teach him their musical culture—Berger: "he kind of put them onto their own folk music by being very interested in that. Then they started a Turkish group [of their own]." Rather than simply learning to play the music of another region or culture by rote was certainly far from Cherry's mind; part of this 'aboriginalness' was an effort to gain a clearer window into oneself and one's own creative possibilities, that one can become more fully attuned to one's artistic personality by incorporating aspects of other musics into the palette. In some ways, it reflects the age-old adage that one has to get as far away from oneself as possible in order to fully understand where one lies creatively and humanistically—an aesthetic walkabout, in other words. Don Cherry's walkabout took him to Brooklyn, Scandinavia, Turkey, Los Angeles, Paris, India and places in-between, but as an artist, it brought him home.

Thanks to Adam Rudolph, Karl Berger, Carlos Ward, Prince Lasha, Ornette Coleman, Bengt Berger, and all the artists interviewed for this project.

Photo Credit
Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos


comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Omar Sosa: Building Bridges Not Walls
By Duncan Heining
May 2, 2019
Unforgettable: Nat King Cole at 100
By Peter Coclanis
March 17, 2019
Robert Lewis Heads the Charleston's Jazz Orchestra
By Rob Rosenblum
January 27, 2019
The Complete Jan Akkerman: Focusing on a Life's Work
By John Kelman
November 24, 2018
Istanbul’s İKSV: An Intensity Beyond Cool
By Arthur R George
October 17, 2018