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Best of 2020

Don Cherry, Terry Riley

Terry Riley and Don Cherry Duo

Another incredible treasure from the vaults of Cologne radio, recorded in late February 1975. In this duo improvisation Terry Riley's organ intersections just define the geometry of the hyper-dimensional space where Don Cherry's outwordly trumpet lives. Mantric and evocative, we could go on and on listening to the very same track all day long, it could last forever...

In 1975, pioneering minimalist composer Terry Riley and jazz trumpet cosmonaut Don Cherry joined forces for a magnetic performance in Köln, Germany. But they also recorded these incredible radio sessions: Riley’s swirling organ, droning and clairvoyant, and prescient in its clarity, parades along with a triumphant Cherry, leaving behind trails of mystery and a sense of beauty in a larger, more universal form.

The opening piece, Descending Moonshine Dervishes, which lasts 32 minutes, is a transcendent moment of improvisational experimentation and spiritual jazz. As Cherry’s physical presence slowly liquifies, the lonesome foghorn blows into some kind of misty dawn. Then Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector follows the compositional model Riley had created earlier with his famous minimalist masterpiece In C from 1964.

If any music was to represent quantum void, Terry Riley's multi-layered organ patterns are definitely the most suitable candidate. They constitute a steady, everchanging background which is always and never the same at the same time, with epiphanic particles rising from the fluctuation and disappearing immediately after, just to reappear where you'd never have expected them to.

This meeting between Terry Riley’s amazing all-night-flight organ styles and Cherry’s devotional trumpet work, is a staggering document and another fascinating uncovering of a key moment in the secret history of holy minimalism.

Cat. number: BE 6212
Year: 2020

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