Tiziano Tononi

Awake Nu: A Tribute to Don Cherry

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Sadly, trumpeter/composer Don Cherry passed away in 1995. And while the artist made an impressionable mark with free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, Cherry's recorded legacy with Old and New Dreams, numerous session dates, and solo outings only enhanced his stature as a true stylist who possessed a signature sound and technique that drew upon disparate elements. On this 1997 release, drummer/percussionist Tiziano Tononi and his enterprising The Society of Freely Syncopated Organic Pulses pays tribute to the late trumpeter with a two-CD set consisting of predominately Cherry compositions. Here, the band is most effective at injecting his aura and musical spirit into an overall presentation that is teeming with surprises, humor and penetrating interplay. The musicians pursue multi-layered horn charts along with pensive themes, climactic opuses and a dual bass attack on various pieces, yet go for the gusto via sterling, groove oriented arrangements in conjunction with trumpeter Herb Robertson's uncannily human-sounding muted wah-wah lines and the soloist's often vivacious choruses. No doubt, there is a lot of fine music to be found within these two discs, as the ensemble also manages to infuse Cherry's musical persona into Sonny Rollins' "East Broadway Blues." Basically, the musicians ingeniously meld components of free jazz, hard rock, and mainstream swing into their altogether polychromatic repertoire making Awake Nu an exceptional tribute to a modern jazz pioneer! Highly recommended.

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