Organic Music Society
One of the towering figures of American music, Don Cherry, was part of the revolutionary free-bop quartet led by Ornette Coleman in the late 1950s and early 1960s, an ensemble that helped shift the conversation about jazz from chord changes and swing to freedom and energy. Always an independent spirit, Cherry brought his openness and burgeoning knowledge of traditional music from around the world to bear on the bold new music.
The sessions that comprise Organic Music Society are varied and represent several directions in Cherry’s oeuvre. Only two tracks (“Elixir” and “Relativity Suite”) were recorded in a studio setting; the rest of the music was made live, in wildly divergent circumstances. Along with various top-notch Swedish players – Bengt Berger, Christer Bothén, and Tommy Koverhult – The accomplices include Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz and an early appearance by the Brazilian berimbau specialist Naná Vasconcelos.
Cherry himself performs on pocket cornet, but also on voice, harmonium, flute, conch shell and piano. Compositions include some familiar material, such as “Relativity Suite” and Pharoah Sanders’ classic “The Creator Has a Master Plan” and fascinating material from Dollar Brand (“Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro”) and even the world minimalist composer Terry Riley (“Terry’s Tune”). Some tracks are long, loose, and meditative (“North Brazilian Ceremonial Hymn”), while others are taut and bracing; on one track, a 50-piece string orchestra accompanies the band. Across the board, on organic Music Society we find Cherry’s intense interest in multicultural sounds, in the intersections of improvisation and folk music, and the expansion of jazz into a melting pot of sonic experience.
- 1.North Brazilian Ceremonial Hymn Music: Nelson Angelo Calvacante12’25
- 2.Elixir Music: Don Cherry6’08
- 3.Manusha Raga Kamboji Music: Hans Isgren2’19
- 4.Relativity Suite (Part 1) Music: Don Cherry6’52
- 5.Relativity Suite (Part 2) Music: Don Cherry11’59
- 6.Terry's Tune Music: Terry Riley1'56
- 7.Hope Music: Don Cherry10’08
- 8.The Creator Has a Master Plan Music: Pharoah Sanders-Leon Thomas6’28
- 9.Sidhartha Music: Don Cherry1’59
- 10.Utopia & Visions Music: Don Cherry6’33
- 11.Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro Music: Dollar Brand2’33
- 12.Terry's Tune Music: Terry Riley5'10
- 13.Resa Music: Don Cherry5’41
- Total playtime 77'31