Don Cherry

Orient/Blue Lake

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Orient captures the nomadic Don Cherry in two live sets in the early '70s with two different trios. As distinguished from his early jazz career with Ornette Coleman and his later flirtations with pop forms, Cherry's work from about 1967-1978 was concentrated in his desire to bring to bear as many influences from musical cultures around the globe as possible into his music. Prominent among these include Indonesian gamelan, Indian Karnatic singing, rhythms from West and South Africa, and American Indian rituals. Also common during this period was Cherry's tendency to spend equal time on piano, flutes, and vocals alongside his pocket trumpet. All of these figure into the two sets here, one including the great Dutch drummer Han Bennink, the other with the amazing South African bassist Johnny Dyani. Fans of Cherry will recognize several of the themes herein, including the very beautiful "Desireless" from his Relativity Suite, but it's fascinating to hear him work in material from Indian scales to township dance music to Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage." While not quite up to the caliber of Eternal Rhythm or the Mu sessions with Ed Blackwell, Orient is nonetheless a valuable document and recommended. [Fruit Tree reissued Orient on CD in 2002.]

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