Don Cherry

The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Don Cherry

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Don Cherry's three albums for Blue Note weren't quite as groundbreaking as some of his later world fusion sessions, when he truly found his own voice and vision. But they're all excellent examples of the kinetic, fire-breathing free jazz he initially pursued after leaving Ornette Coleman's group, and they succeeded in establishing him as a formidable composer, bandleader, and theorist in his own right -- not just Ornette's trusty sidekick. Over the course of two discs or three LPs, Mosaic's The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Don Cherry collects the three albums that marked the trumpeter/cornetist's first efforts as a leader -- Complete Communion, Symphony for Improvisers, and Where Is Brooklyn. The first and last were quartet sessions featuring Gato Barbieri and Pharoah Sanders, respectively, while Symphony assembled a gloriously visceral septet that included both tenorists. It and Complete Communion were the most successful efforts, integrating Cherry's originals into several side-long medleys that allowed the group to keep improvising without breaking its momentum or concentration. Compositionally, Cherry also proved himself no slouch; the "Complete Communion" suite later became a favored playground for Ken Vandermark's DKV Trio, which revived the piece in the late '90s. Like all Mosaic sets, the sound quality and annotation are excellent, and there were extremely limited quantities pressed.

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