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With the extraordinary Complete Communion of 1965, trumpeter Don Cherry came into his own as a major free-jazz figure. Stepping away from Ornette Coleman’s band, Cherry surrounded himself with a brilliant team of interactive players, including bassist Henry Grimes, tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri, and Coleman bandmate Ed Blackwell on drums. Together they make roiling yet orderly music, free improvisation framed by Cherry’s diverting themes. Cherry, whose tart horn work had made him the perfect foil for the innovative Coleman, distinguishes himself here as an independent voice, both as an instrumentalist and as a composer. Obviously inspired, the other three outdo themselves: Barbieri, in particular, has rarely sounded so compelling, while Grimes and Blackwell go far beyond any conventional rhythm section roles. While Coleman’s visionary take on free jazz is echoed throughout Complete Communion, this landmark album stands on its own as a masterly work A year later, all four players also collaborated on Cherry’s gripping Symphony for Improvisers.
|Label:||Blue Note Records|