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eMusic Features

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Don Cherry: Pied Piper with a Pocket Trumpet

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Don Cherry began to make his mark with his first recording session, on February 10, 1958, as foil for freebopping alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman on music recorded for Something Else! Their bebop forebears Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker favored rough-sounding unison melodies, a departure from the swing era's smooth blends, but the Coleman-Cherry mix was scrappier still. As soloist, Don took cues from how Ornette's solos didn't track a tune's harmonies too closely. They didn't… more »