Don Cherry – Live In Frankfurt (1968)

FrontCover1Trumpeter Don Cherry might have honed his craft when he played with Ornette Coleman in the late ’50s and early ’60s but he did not hesitate to flex his musical muscles on his own.

To call Cherry a trumpet player is not only misleading but does a great injustice to the musician. While he played the trumpet and cornet and assorted flutes, he was adept at the piano and even experimented with electronics.

So it was not a great surprise to find Cherry performing a free jazz-ish set with Steve Lacy at the Deutsches Jazzfestival in Frankfurt in March 1968 and then record the world-fusion Eternal Sunshine in November (with Albert Mangelsdorff and Sonny Sharrock among others).

In an interview, Cherry said: “The form of jazz where you had the composition, then the sax solo, trumpet solo, piano solo, drum solo, then trade fours – that concept doesn’t open up for surprises. And surprise is, to me, one of the most important things in life, for inspiration. I would write compositions so I could change those compositions. Or I’d have one artist solo in one piece and out of that piece we’d go to another, maybe never going back to what we started with.”

Not only that, Cherry appeared to be a very fair leader, allowing every member here to shine and the intricate interaction among the players was not lost on the appreciative Frankfurt audience. Listening to this set, one can just picture Cherry with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face.

Don Cherry died in Spain in 1995 due to liver failure. He was 58. (by bigozine2)

Thanks to Jazzrita for sharing this show on the Dime site.

Recorded live at the Deutsches Jazzfestival 1968, Volksbildungsheim, Frankfurt, Germany, March 24, 1968. Very good German FM recording


Karl Berger (vibraphone, piano)
Kent Carter (bass)
Don Cherry (cornet, bamboo flute)
Steve Lacy (saxophone)
Jacques Thollot (drums)


01. Tune In (Berger) 6.01
02. A New Folk (Cherry) 12.24
03. Bird Suite (Berger) 7.13
04. Going Home (Berger) (fade-out) 4.15


Alternate front+back cover



Don Cherry – Where Is Brooklyn (1966)

FrontCover1“Where Is Brooklyn” was Don Cherry’s final album for Blue Note, and it returned to the quartet format of Complete Communion, this time featuring Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax along with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ed Blackwell. Here, Cherry abandons his concept of recording all the album’s compositions as side-long medleys; rather, each is treated separately, with spaces in between the tracks. There wasn’t a need to integrate the compositions by periodically returning to their themes, so perhaps that’s why Cherry doesn’t really focus as much on bringing out his compositions this time around. Where Is Brooklyn is much more about energy and thoughtful group interaction than memorable themes, and so there’s just a little something missing in comparison to Cherry’s prior albums, even though they did also emphasize the qualities on display here. Nonetheless, it’s still a fine record for what it does concentrate on; Sanders is in typically passionate form, and the rest of the ensemble members have already honed their interplay to a pretty sharp edge. It’s worth hearing, even if it isn’t as essential as Complete Communion or Symphony for Improvisers. (by Steve Huey)

Ed Blackwell (drums)
Don Cherry (trumpet, cornet)
Henry Grimes (bass)
Pharoah Sanders (saxophone)


01. Awake Nu 6.55
02. Taste Maker 6.48
03. The Thing 5.50
04. There Is The Bomb 4.51
05. Unite 17.48

All compositions written by Don Cherry