Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Don Cherry - 1969 - Mu (First and Second Parts)

Don Cherry 
Mu (First and Second Parts)

"Mu" First Part
01. Brilliant Action
02. Omejelo
03. Total Vibration (Part 1)
04. Total Vibration (Part 2)
05. Sun Of The East
06. Terrestrial Beings

"Mu" Second Part
07. The Mysticism Of My Sound
08. Medley
a. Dollar Brand
b. Spontaneous Composing
c. Exert, Man On The Moon
09. Bamboo Night
10. Teo-Teo-Can
11. Smiling Faces Going Places
12. Psycho-Drama
13. Medley
a. Theme Albert Heath
b. Theme Dollar Brand
c. Baby Rest, Time For...

Drums – Ed Blackwell
Trumpet, Piano, Flute – Don Cherry

Recorded August 22, 1969, Studio Saravah, Paris

This classic pair of recordings, reissued as a single CD, captures Don Cherry near the height of his global quest to absorb as much music as possible from different cultures and funnel it back through his jazz sensibility. It's one of the earliest, and most successful, experiments in what would later come to be known as world music. He wisely chose his fellow Ornette Coleman cohort Ed Blackwell -- a drummer steeped in the traditions of New Orleans, African music, and free jazz -- for his partner. Despite his reputation as a trumpeter, Cherry spends a great deal of time here on piano, flutes, and vocals. His piano playing, while relatively simple, is fluid and melodic, owing a good deal to Abdullah Ibrahim (who is represented here with a couple of his themes). Likewise, his singing -- heavily influenced by Indian karnatic song -- is endearingly bright, heartfelt, and lovely. But, above all, his trumpet playing is stellar. When Cherry hits his ringing, clarion passages, he projects a purity of sound that few other trumpeters could match. Blackwell matches him sound for sound, with rolling West African-derived rhythms, Basin Street marches, and the most overtly musical tone of any drummer this side of Max Roach. The Mu sessions have long held legendary status and it's not difficult to hear why. Highly recommended.