Vattel Cherry

Is It Because I'm Black

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This short solo CD by Baltimore native Vattel Cherry features the bassist on eight spirituals and four originals. Cherry is best known, perhaps, for his work with tenor saxophonist Charles Gayle and others in the realm of free-style jazz. For this recording, the bassist reaches back to his roots, with poignant though fairly straight versions of timeless classics such as "Go Down Moses," "Wade in the Water," and "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." He does stretch out, particularly on his own compositions, but he seems very much aware of his audience and the need to pace the program with accessible items. Cherry supplements with voice on occasion, but it is his bass that carries the day. Its rich sonorities ring through with grace and elegance. An important, though not indispensable contribution to the bass discography.

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