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

Continued right after these…

Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

October 19, 1963 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Bobby Vinton, Blue Velvet ~ #2 (2) the Ronettes, Be My Baby ~ #3 (3) Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs, Sugar Shack


Miles Davis was initially dismissive of Cherry's playing, claiming that “anyone can tell that guy's not a trumpet player - it's just notes that come out, and every note he plays he looks serious about, and people will go for that, especially white people.” According to Cherry, however, when Davis attended an Ornette Coleman performance at the Five Spot, he was impressed with Cherry's playing and sat in with the group using Cherry's pocket trumpet. ~ Wikipedia: Don Cherry ~ retrieved October 19, 2015 © Wikipedia

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

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Ornette Coleman ~ The Shape Of Jazz To Come (1959) ~ Ranked #248 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time in 2012 ~ Coleman's sound was so out-there, one audience at an early gig threw his sax over a cliff. He pioneered free jazz: no chords, no harmony, any player can take the lead. ~ 2012 © Rolling Stone

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