Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Where Is Brooklyn
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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The long wait over.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 10/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us enamoured with Don Cherry's music, the announcement of a release of "Where is Brooklyn?" on was extraordinary news. Previously, the album had only been available on CD in a limited edition Mosaic boxed set that slipped out of print a decade ago and fetches an extraordinary price on the second-hand market, but at long last, the three Blue Note albums are all back in print and readily available.
The Blue Note recordings were Cherry's first recordings as a leader-- he'd established his reputation playing foil to Ornette Coleman on Coleman's legendary Contemporary (1958-1959) and Atlantic sessions (1959-1961), and after leaving Coleman, played with such critical saxophonists as Sonny Rollins (in 1962), Archie Shepp (1963 as part of the New York Contemporary Five) and Albert Ayler (1964). Cherry was signed to Blue Note during that label's move at several of free jazz pioneers-- Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Cherry all released albums on Blue Note during the mid-60s. Cherry's first two records each were a pair of side-long suites-- the loose and free-wheeling "Complete Communion" and the denser "Symphony for Improvisors".
For his third album and final album on Blue Note, Cherry with his working New York quartet (the leader blowing cornet, a very young Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax and piccolo, fellow Sonny Rollins/Albert Ayler alumnus Henry Grimes on bass and former Coleman drummer Ed Blackwell) would explore themes as individual pieces rather than as part of a greater suite. The themes themselves are largely less important than the improvisation around them-- "Awake Nu" will be familiar to Ayler fans as "D.C." and "The Thing" has an exciting theme stated on bass then echoed on horns, but by and large these are far less memorable than those on the previous two albums. The improvisation though is superb-- Cherry is agile and stunning, locking in deep with both Grimes and Blackwell, while Sanders is agressive, energetic and largely in your face (so much so that Cherry often plays counter to him). The album works best when it finds Ayleresque collective improv (midway through the extended "Unite", Sanders' solo space on "Taste maker") and certainly all four turning in breathtaking performances at one time or another, but there's something missing in this one that the first two Blue Note records have-- it could be that this feels a lot more indebted to Ayler and Coleman due to its structure (and band arrangement), but it seems to have quite a bit less of the Cherry identity than "Symphony For Improvisers".
Nonetheless, for those of us who have waited to hear this, it's a fine record and worth acquiring. The album has clearly been remasterd and sounds crisp and fresh and reprints the original liner notes (by Ornette Coleman) as well as including a brief essay concerning the recording by reissue producer Michael Cuscuna. This isn't going to turn anybody on to Cherry, but for those who enjoy his work, this is a fine recording. And certainly, I'd recommend all curious parties snap up all three Blue Note recordings while they're available-- it's only a matter of time before someone notices how little they sell and they disappear again."
Finally, We Found "Brooklyn"
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 10/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am delighted the powers that be at Blue Note/EMI finally decided to listen to all those fans yelling "Where is 'Where is Brooklyn?'" and release this CD. With this Connoissuer Series reissue all three of Don Cherry's Blue Note albums have finally been released as single discs. (For the record, they were available some ten years ago as a box set from Mosaic.) This November 11, 1966 session features three musicians who all contributed to the cornet player's previous BN effort "Symphony for Improvisers" -- Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax, Henry Grimes on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums. This is an avant-garde jazz fan's dream lineup and the results more than deliver on that promise. Where as "Symphony" and its larger ensemble tried to expand Cherry's musical vision, not always to this listener's satisfaction I might add, Cherry is much more in his element here in a quartet setting. He might not reach the same lofty heights with Pharoah as he did with Ornette, but it is certainly better than his mediocre collaboration of years earlier with Coltrane. (Though one wonders what JC circa '66 would've had to say!) Finally, jazz fans should hurry up and find "Brooklyn" because I have a feeling this limited edition CD won't be around for long."