With his daughter Neneh back in the limelight for her team-up with Swedish free-jazz trio The Thing, it’s a prime opportunity to celebrate the O.G. Cherry as well. The early 1970s were a vibrant time for the avant-jazz cornetist, jamming with everyone from Ornette Coleman to Krzysztof Penderecki and even Alejandro Jodorowsky. Yet the most impressively varied results of these years might be the sprawling, world fusion experiments of this double LP, now issued on CD for the first time.
Twelve-minute opener “North Brazilian Ceremony Hymn” sets the tone with meditative chants and swirls of sound cut from the same cloth as Alice Coltrane. From here, the album flows seamlessly from spaced-out passages to frenetic percussion and loads in-between. Largely recorded live with an international cast from Sweden, Turkey and Brazil, the map spreads out even further with tunes from Pharaoh Sanders, cosmic minimalist Terry Riley and South African pianist Dollar Brand. While perhaps not as iconic as his 1975 classic Brown Rice, this is Don Cherry at his most multicultural, and it makes for a truly fascinating trip.