Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don Cherry - Multikulti

It's obvious right from the title that Multikulti is another of Don Cherry's trademark fusions of jazz and world music, this time around with a heavy African influence. Cherry is joined on several tracks by members of multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble (plus the full band on "Until the Rain Comes" and "Divinity-Tree"), and their shared affinity for African music is what produces most of the album's best moments. (Listeners who prefer Cherry in a stricter jazz context are hereby warned.) The percolating, polyrhythmic grooves of "Dedication to Thomas Mapfumo," "Until the Rain Comes" (parts of it, anyway), "Divinity-Tree," and "Rhumba Multikulti" make for an infectious celebration of pan-cultural awareness that fully lives up to the promise of the album's title. Other highlights include the spare bounce of "Birdboy" and the more traditional free bop of "Pettiford Bridge." There are a few unfortunate indulgences, however. The brief instrumental sketches that punctuate the album actually detract from the flow and consistency, and if you've never been a fan of poetry recitations over jazz backing, the ones here won't change your mind. A few cuts just don't quite go anywhere, and at 12 minutes, "Until the Rain Comes" -- despite some undeniably great sections -- just starts to meander after a while. There's definitely enough good music here to make Multikulti worthwhile for fans of Cherry's world fusion explorations, but it isn't quite consistent enough to become essential. - by Steve Huey, AMG

Don Cherry was a man of extraordinarily cosmopolitan musical tastes, and better than any other record, "Multikulti" displays this. It may not be his best work, but it is probably his most accessible, and is a highly enjoyable experience. Moving between different moods, Cherry, backed by several ensembles including such musicians as Nana Vasconcelos, Carlos Ward, Ed Blackwell, Karl Berger and Peter Apfelbaum, the record is a stirring mix of American, European, and African musical traditions, moving seemlessly between forms. Cherry is at his most entertaining on "Multikulti Soothsayer"-- spoken word over doussn'gouni (a bassy, single stringed hunter's bow), pocket trumpet, and synthesizers-- a bizarre story about coming into a shop and meeting a woman of seemingly unlimited potential, and his skills as an instrumental arranger shine on "Birdboy" (a electronics-meets-reggae piece), "Dedication to Thomas Mapfumo (Eastern European-tinged swing with blazing soloing from Ward and Apfelbaum), "Pettiford Bridge" (tuba-driven jazz with phenomenal soloing from Cherry and Ward) and "Until the Rain Comes" (a bizarre pop meets a dozezn world traditions piece with a great vocal from Ingrid Sertso). All in all, its a great record and there's quite a bit to hear on this. Dig it up, even out of print, its well worth the effort. - by Michael Stack, Amazon.com

Artist: Don Cherry
Album: Multikulti
Year: 1990
Label: A & M Records
Runtime: 50:54

1.  Trumpet (Don Cherry) 0:45
2.  Multikulti Soothsayer (Don Cherry) 5:26
3.  Flute (Don Cherry) 1:08
4.  Birdboy (Don Cherry) 4:37
5.  Melodica (Don Cherry) 1:24
6.  Dedication to Thomas Mapfurno (Don Cherry) 4:20
7.  Pettiford Bridge (Don Cherry) 4:44
8.  Piano/Trumpet (Don Cherry) 2:21
9.  Until the Rain Comes (Peter Apfelbaum) 12:17
10.  Divinity-Tree (Peter Apfelbaum) 5:14
11.  Rhumba Multikulti (Don Cherry/Robert Huffman/Joshua Jones) 4:10
12.  Multikulti Soothsayer Player (Don Cherry) 4:24

Don Cherry (Trumpet, Doussn' gouni, Voice, Flute, Melodica and Piano)
Peter Apfelbaum (Tenor Saxophone, Cowbell, Marimba, Bells, Gong and Piano) - 6,9-11
Bob Stewart (Tuba) - 6,7
Carlos Ward (Alto Saxophone) - 6,7
Ed Blackwell (Drums) - 6,7
Karl Berger (Marimba and Voice) - 6,11
Ingrid Sertso (Voice) - 6,9,11
Bill Ortiz (Trumpet and Voice) - 9,10
James Harvey (Trombone) - 9,10
Jeff Cressman (Trombone and Voice) - 9,10
Tony Jones (Tenor Saxophone) - 9,10
Jessica Jones (Tenor Saxophone) - 9,10
Peck Allmond (Baritone Saxophone) - 9,10
Will Bernard (Guitar) - 9,10
Stan Franks (Guitar) - 9,10
Bo Freeman (Bass) - 9,10
Joshua Jones (Drums and Percussion, Voice) - 9-11
Deszon X. Clairbone (Drums) - 9,10
Robert Huffman (Percussion and Voice) - 9-11
Frank Ekeh (Percussion and Voice) - 9,10
Allen Ginsberg (Backing Vocals) - 11
Claudia Engelhart (Backing Vocals) - 11
Karen Knight (Backing Vocals) - 11
Frank Serafine (Synthesizer) - 2
Anthony Hamilton (Voice) - 2
John L. Price (Drums Programming) - 4
Mark Loudon Sims (Bass) - 4
David Cherry (Synthesizer) - 4
Nana Vasconcelos (Percussion) - 6


  1. Un grand merci. Très bel album.

  2. Thanks a lot from Germany for this gift.



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