Don Cherry, Just the Tracks.

Asked by a jazz web site to pick twelve significant tracks of the music of Don Cherry. This was the list, now with added suggestions sent in by commenters. The web site in question declined to run the article after I refused to “rate” each track from 1 to 100. Pretty funny, so I thought I’d run the entire list with your ideas included. Jazz on the web is an interesting conundrum–the old school-new school battles seem to get more nakedly exposed. One of the most ironic things I heard recently was the editor of a major jazz publication wanting to write about downloads asking us to “put the mp3s on a CD and then we’ll listen to them.”

Of course as with all topics there are great contributors on line. Here is a link to Howard Mandel’s blog, where he’s got a nice rundown of Karl Berger’s “In The Spirit of Don Cherry,” along with a thorough mention of other Cherry collaborations. He really evokes that feeling a lot of New Yorkers have — that it wasn’t so long ago that Don was walking our streets and brightening our days.

1. Ornette Coleman – 1959 – The Art of the Improviser
Just For You, with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins

2. John Coltrane – The Avant Garde – 1960
Cherryco, with Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell

3. Steve Lacy with Don Cherry – Evidence – 1961
San Francisco Holiday, with Carl Brown and Billy Higgins

4. Sonny Rollins – Our Man In Jazz – 1962
Doxy, with Bob Cranshaw and Billy Higgins

5. Don Cherry – Complete Communion – 1965
Elephantasy, with Gato Barbieri, Henry Grimes, Ed Blackwell

6. Don Cherry – Where is Brooklyn? – 1966
The Thing, with Pharaoh Sanders, Henry Grimes, Ed Blackwell

7. Don Cherry – Live Ankara – 1969
Tamzara, with Selcuk Sun, Okay Temiz, Irfan Sumer

8. Ornette Coleman – Science Fiction – 1971
Civilization Day, with Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell

9. Don Cherry & The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra – Relativity Suite – 1973
Mali Doussn’gouni, with Carla Bley, and many others

10. Don Cherry – Hear & Now – 1976
Universal Mother, with Cliff carter, Neil Jason, Steve Jordan, Lois Colin, Stan Samole, Sammy Figueroa, and Raphael Cruz

11. Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell – Old and New Dreams – 1976
Next To The Quiet Stream

12. Johnny Dyani Quartet – Song For Biko – 1978
Song For Biko, with Dudu Pkwana, Makaya Ntshoko

13. Don Cherry & Ed Blackwell – El Corazon – 1982
Voice Of The Silence

14. Don Cherry & Jon Appleton – Human Music – 1970

15. The Codona recordings have recently been reissued by ECM.

16. Don Cherry, Brown Rice.

17. The two volumes of Mu.

18. The collaboration between Don Cherry and Albert Ayler:

Vibrations (Debut, 1964)
Ghosts (Fontana, 1964)
New York Ear and Control (ESP, 1964)

19. The Ornette album “Ornette on Tenor” has some ferocious Cherry soloing but I’d be hard pressed to single out a track.

20. Happy House from the Old and New Dreams album “Playing.”

21. Cherry’s version of “Lonely Woman” from Old And New Dreams.