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Album Review

Cherry, Don – “”Mu” First Part ” – [Byg Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2006   12-inch, Jazz

’69 finds Don Cherry and frequent collaborator Ed
Blackwell going OFF…off to the races. Lot’s of
staccatto infused energy. Blackwell’s drums are
really mic’d crisply, horse-power percussion just
barely harnessed. Sounds great w/ the ebullient,
sweet trumpet of Cherry. Don even moves on to some
great flute on this, well-bridged by Blackwell who
literally never misses a beat. After that, Blackwell
works in cowbell clanking; all the percussion segues
on this album are spot on! Tribal enchantment flair
in abundance, something Cherry often brought to his
music. His wordless incantantions turn up on A-side.
There’s even piano on the flip, and some more somber
sephardic scaling. Cherry’s a nomadic musi-genius.
LP starts with this exhillirating little passage
and pace pretty much never languishes…morse code
urgency at most times. Cherry lived from 1936-95,
his music (and with Ornette, Ayler, Sun Ra) will
always be here. Always very alive! -Thurston Hunger

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