Today I want to talk about one of the artists I am digging a lot in this last period. Being very attracted by artists such as Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Ornette Coleman and Anthony Braxton (just to name a few), I came across the world of Don Cherry almost naturally. Don was one of the most important trumpeter and cornetist of his generation. In Ornette’s experience, “Don was the only trumpeter at the time able to play this music”. Where “this music” stands for the kind of jazz Ornette had in his mind at that time now recognized as free jazz. Don Cherry was indeed a true avant-garde free jazz player, one of the most individual protagonist in contemporary Jazz.
Don Cherry: “If we’re going to speak about words, we could talk about a word like ‘aum.’ Because you don’t say the word ‘aum,’ you sing it. And you have to sing it where you use the ‘a’ as ‘ah,’ which is the throat. Then you’re singing, sustaining the tone ‘ah.’ Then you go to the ‘u,’ and then you reach the ‘m’ and you’ve liberated the body. That’s a word. In the Bible they speak of the Word. First there was the Word. And then they speak of the word that was lost.”
First of all, watch this very informative footage to have an overview of his way of intending music:
Now, you are ready to dig deeper. This is an amazing interview he did for the italian television. I know that a large part of our readers will be not able to understand a word, but for once we have found something in our own language, just let us post about it. At the end of the speaking, everybody can enjoy the live session though! Get the 5 parts here: 1 – 2 - 3 – 4 – 5
And finally check this mix: