Don Cherry leads a quintet for an exciting set at Cafe Montmartre (the home of many memorable recordings by American expatriates and touring musicians) in 1966. Although there are plenty of wild moments, much of the music proves rather accessible to those not usually enamored with avant-garde jazz. Recorded for Danish radio broadcast, the 47-minute set begins with the explosive "Cocktail Piece," introduced by Cherry as "comprising of compositions of myself and Ornette Coleman. Cherry also reprises his "Complete Communion," (recorded for Blue Note but possibly not yet released at the time of this undated performance from 1966), featuring Gato Barbieri's tenor alternating between melodic passages and Ornette Coleman-like shrieking, and impressive solos by Cherry and Karl Berger, with a surprising detour into the then-current pop song "A Taste of Honey." "Free Improvisation: Music Now" includes a few themes that would be incorporated into Cherry's next Blue Note recording, Symphony for Improvisers. A bonus DVD includes 12 hours of audio performances from ESP's entire catalog, including tracks by dozens of different artists.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden
Track Listing - Disc 1