Don Cherry, trumpeter
birth name: Donald Eugene Cherry

Don Cherry

November 18, 1936, Oklahoma City, OK ~ October 19, 1995, Malaga, Spain

Cherry’s playing was rooted in melody and rhythm’s dance; he was fascinated with sounds be they organic, acoustic, amplified and/or processed, and into everything from trad to bop to avant garde, bossa nova to gamelan to raga to punk to noise. ~ Arts Journal: A visitation with Don Cherry’s spirit ~ February 7, 2009 © Arts Journal/Howard Mandel

Mr. Cherry used a pocket cornet - a shrunken cornet - to get an open, quiet sound. He managed emotionally charged statements without force, and his playing radiated fragility, as if he had come to his style without study. He began his career studying the works of the trumpeter Fats Navarro, and his playing was often a lyrical paraphrase of be-bop ideas without a wasted note. By the end of his life, his music incorporated funk and ethnic musics from around the world, fusing his avant-garde vocabulary with folk and pop music. In describing his studies to the drummer Art Taylor for the book “Notes and Tones”, Mr. Cherry said, “First it was form, then phrasing and then sound, always sound.” ~ New York Times: Don Cherry Obituary ~ October 21, 1995 © New York Times

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October 19, 2013 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball ~ #2 (2) Katy Perry, Roar ~ #1 (1) Lorde, Royals


One of the most influential jazz musicians of the late 20th century. A founding member of Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking quartet of the late '50s, Cherry continued to expand his musical vocabulary until his death in 1995. In addition to performing and recording with his own bands, Cherry worked with such top-ranked jazz musicians as Steve Lacy, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, and Gato Barbieri. Cherry's most prolific period came in the late '70s and early '80s when he joined Nana Vasconcelos and Collin Walcott in the worldbeat group Codona, and with former bandmates Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell, and saxophonist Dewey Redman in the Coleman-inspired group Old and New Dreams. Cherry later worked with Vasconcelos and saxophonist Carlos Ward in the short-lived group Nu. ~ Allmusic: Don Cherry ~ retrieved October 20, 2015 © Allmusic

Don Cherry ~ Inducted in the 2011 Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame.

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Ornette Coleman ~ Free Jazz (1960) ~ Ranked #19 Jazzwise 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World in 2006 ~ This one turned everyone around. ~ 2006 © Jazzwise

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