Boomkat Product Review:
The prodigal son of free jazz plays it down and modal on his 1975 gem, reissued for the first time since ’77, and highlighting how his work paved the way for 4th world new age experiments and the outer limits of jungle.
Reissued now under its original title ‘Brown Rice’, Don Cherry’s sought-after side sees him continue to blossom his ideas during a golden era, and, with hindsight, it surely holds up beside contemporaneous classics from Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. It was recorded in New York City and Woodstock, upstate New York and features Cherry’ switching between signature trumpet and other duties on piano and vox, flanked by Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins’ effervescent, driving percussion in their winning deployment of cool fire.
Shimmering into view with the bubbling charm of Don and Ricky Cherry’s electric keys and hushed scatting on ‘Brown Rice’, the piece flows outward into Moki’s lustrous Indian raga tambura strings while the rhythm section really takes flight, dropping seeds that would, for reference, sprout into the likes of Tortoise decades later. On the flip they turns inwards again with Don Cherry’s mesmerising chants floating on a bed of Hakim Jamal’s agitated bass and tamborim by Moki, with soaring trumpet lines that begat Jon Hassell’s 4th World music templates, before the ensemble erupt into joyous, raucous modal jazz fire in ‘Degi Degi’.
Absolutely no gridlock gear here, just bountiful, life-affirming business.