Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Don Cherry - Complete Communion

Blue Note arrived late on the '60s avant-garde scene, only recording figures like Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor after they had disappeared from the rosters of other major American jazz labels. Complete Communion, from 1964, was Don Cherry's first session as a leader after brilliant sideman contributions with Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, and it's one of the landmark records of the era. The music consists of two long suites of interlocking Cherry compositions, and they're played with telepathic precision and explosive energy by a great quartet of Gato Barbieri on tenor saxophone, bassist Henry Grimes, and Cherry's long-term collaborator Ed Blackwell on drums. Cherry is in superb form, throwing off high notes like bright spears and twisting lines that suddenly rebound into the ensembles. For those who only know Barbieri's work from his later, more commercially inclined Brazilian-flavored work, his playing here will be a revelation. He combines an original sound, booting energy, and a startling melodic fluency that leaps freely over his horn's range. This is an essential document of jazz in the '60s. --Stuart Broomer


marram62 said...

Anonymous said...

Another Cherry classic. Thanks for sharing!