On March 31, 1966 Afro-Choctaw-American trumpeter Don Cherry performed at Copenhagen's Café Montmartre with Argentine saxophonist Gato Barbieri, German vibraphonist Karl Berger, Danish bassist Bo Stief and Italian drummer Aldo Romano. Two albums of music from this night of inspired collective improvisation were reissued by ESP-Disk in 2008. Volume 2 is greatly enhanced by the lessons Cherry learned while working with Albert Ayler in 1964, and by Barbieri's willingness to operate in Ayler's realm -- tonally, texturally and tangentially. After a pleasantly mysterious handling of themes from "Black Orpheus," the quintet delves into a "Suite for Albert Ayler" and four consecutive sets of variations on ideas by Don Cherry. The Montmartre 1966 session occurred during the period when Cherry was a Blue Note recording artist, and fairly bristles with elements of his albums Complete Communion, Symphony for Improvisers, and Where Is Brooklyn? This joyously free yet well organized modern music is to some extent an outgrowth of Cherry's early experiences with Ornette Coleman but is much more directly inspired by the imaginative principles and grandly expressive behavior of Albert Ayler. For this reason Live at Café Montmartre 1966, Vol. 2 qualifies as essential listening for all who love and revere the legacies of Albert Ayler and his good friend Don Cherry.
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