Don CHERRY & The Jazz Composer's Orchestra – Relativity Suite 1973

Don CHERRY & The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra – Relativity Suite 1973
JCOA LP 1006


Don Cherry appeared on the first two releases by JCOA, albums under the leadership of label founders Carla Bley and Michael Mantler, so their decision to commission him for the third album seemed a wise move, as indeed it was. Using many of the same musicians who contributed to those records and were then established as the loose collective called the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, Cherry molded into a suite a string of the pieces he’d been composing and performing in the previous few years. Under the tutelage of Pandit Pran Nath, Cherry had been studying and increasingly using Indian karnatic singing in his recordings and concerts; he begins this album with a similarly derived chant. As the energy heats up, the orchestra launches into the captivating Mali Doussn’gouni, featuring a raging tenor solo by Frank Lowe and delightful vocal acrobatics by Cherry. When it slowly dissolves into his achingly beautiful Desireless, the first half of the album comes to an extremely satisfying conclusion. The remainder of the session is somewhat more of a mixed bag, succeeding off and on. Highlights include Selene Fung’s lovely work on the ching, a Chinese koto-like instrument, and Ed Blackwell’s exuberant New Orleans marching patterns on the concluding number. While not as breathtaking or cohesive as his Eternal Rhythm, Relativity Suite almost matches that release in its first half and contains many a worthwhile joy. Recommended. By Brian Olemnick. AMG.
Trumpet, Woodwind [Conch], Voice, Percussion- Don Cherry
Bass- Charlie Haden
Drums- Ed Blackwell
Piano- Carla Bley
Alto Sax, Voice- Carlos Ward
Tenor Sax, Voice- Dewey Redman , Frank Lowe
Tuba- Jack Jeffers
French Horn- Sharon Freeman
Percussion- Paul Motian
Percussion [Ching]- Selene Fung (tracks B1)
Tambura- Moki Cherry (tracks B2)
Trombone- Brian Trentham
Cello- Jane Robertson , Pat Dixon
Viola – Joan Kalisch , Nan Newton
Violin- Leroy Jenkins
A1. Tantra   8:00
A2. Mali doussn’gouni   5:40
A3. Desireless   1:22
B1. The Queen of Tung-Ting Lake   4:30
B2. Trans-Love Airways   6:50
B3. Infinite Gentleness   3:22
B4. March of the Hobbits   3:38

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