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Cherry, Don Quintet / Live At Cafe Montmartre, 1966
Album:Live At Cafe Montmartre, 1966 Collection:Jazz
Artist:Cherry, Don Quintet Added:08/2007
Label:Esp-Disk' 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2008-04-13 Pull Date:2008-06-15 Charts:Jazz
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Album Review
Professor Barnaby J. Finkerton
Reviewed 2008-04-04 
Don Cherry Quintet
March 17, 1966-Jazzhus Montmartre

Playful, freeform, avante-garde jazz. Dual trumpets play over xylophone, bass, and bells, a chaotic maelstrom that finds harmony only by accident. Talented musicians in their own right, engaging in a complex musical experiment, to see what the ears can and cannot handle. Trumpets squeal with exasperation as the xylophone reminds them to keep it cool, in a multi-part conversation that is fascinating as it is listenable. This is a live piece, played in a German concert hall, so you hear announcer as well as band leader, in addition to clapping, at beginning and end of most pieces. Overall quite an interesting experience, a simultaneous investigation into the heart of music and rebellious protest against its central tenets: no melody, no rhythm, no tempo makes for a new and diverse musical experience. Worth a listen!

1. Wild, flailing trumpet sets the mood for the piece, for an 8 second flair. German announcer takes over, explains from :09 to :35. “Die avant garde jazzen”, he calls it.
2. Up-tempo improvisational trumpet sings its flying melody over a consistent underlying quarter-note bass. Trumpet continuous, occasional xylophone, drums intermittent. Chaotic trills follow a sliding scalar exploration. Band takes it down at 5:20, resuming semi-melodic march toward an orderly listening experience. Desperate, searching exasperation bursts through any attempt at structure. Clapping from 12:40 onward, band member speaks.
3. Begins with band-member speaking, 0:00 - :28. Dual trumpet “suite” as the headman calls it calls out its sultry tune as drums ask to enter center stage and the rabble buzzes in the background. Trumpets blow to capacity and squeak with frustration. The ensemble comes together in the middle to hold an absurd conversation. No melody, just plain, free-form experimentation. Ends with 17 seconds to go, then clapping.
4. Artist speaks 0:00 – 28. Song, entitled “complete communion” is a playful assembly of bells, a xylophone, and two trumpets, neither of which seems to know what the other is doing at any given time. At times, the trumpets are in sync, and descend the scale in a manner indicating hopelessness. Time signature changes radically, and at times one of the trumpets will seem to escape from the cage to go on a rampage. Calms at 7 minute mark, resuming the “cool,” and standup bass takes over for impressive solo. Last 14 seconds is clapping.
5. 0-22 talking, then speedy trumpet starts up with xylophone backing. Exceedingly freeform, but at times the harmonizing, within this storm, is impressive. Much trumpet squealing gives way to unified whole at 5 minute mark. Xylophone takes it back, and peace remains relatively orderly, with boisterous trumpet still in the center of the hurricane. Last 15 seconds is clappin
6. Talking 0:00 - :08 : we’d like to say goodnight. A drum-backed conversation between two genius schizophrenic trumpets, xylophone keeps it cool, bass keeps it real. Somewhat Egyptian feel finds its way into a driving, but nonetheless short piece that ends incompleted.


Track Listing
1.Intro 4.Complete Communion
2.Cocktail Piece 5.Free Improvisation: Music Now
3.Neopolitan Suite: Dios & Diablo 6.Cocktail Piece (End)