Don Cherry - Organic Music Society

03 July, 2012

By C. Mike


When I heard this record was being rereleased on vinyl after, well, nearly 40 years, I was so excited that I immediately started calling my mates and building the hype! You see, when I was studying in London, I used to listen to Gilles Peterson's weekly Radio 1 spot. He had once played 2 tracks of this hidden gem when he announced that he was one of the very few possessing this "world music meets jazz" album. Well, eat yours! now Giles, it's out for the rest of the world.


The story goes like this: Don Cherry met Moki, a Swedish artist, they married and soon after moved to Sweden. There, Cherry, away from the American pressure lifestyle, started teaching music and culture to almost everyone that cared to listen. He deepened his charisma by studying Indian and African music and the philosophies and history surrounding them. This record was made in the beginning of the 1970's and captures a 3 year recording span where the master unraveled his abilities.


Cherry, stepfather of Neneh Cherry and father of Eagle Eye Cherry, was,  alongside Sun Ra and Philip Cohran an innovator and a progressive force in deep world spiritual jazz, managing to combine the jazz standards together with African and Asian sounds.

He does that throughout the whole album, mixing instruments such as berimbau, conch, tamburas, tablas together with more jazzy feel ones such as muted trumpets, flute, pianos and drumming. Add some more spices like  a youth orchestra, plenty of tribal vocals and a lot of visitors(his students and some teachers voices recorded at a summer course)  and friends (Nana Vasconcelos, Okay Temiz) showing up at the sessions to complete this fantastic journey.


The result is a grandiose album of 80 minutes length!, full of complete songs, hymns of the spiritual mind and plenty of fusion jazzy world music to get you full for at least a year.


Highlights include the 12 minute "North Brazilian Ceremonial Hymn" where vocals from around 10 or more people combined with percussion of all kinds make it a sublime meditative journey.


"Terry's Tune" is another high point where Cherry covers Terry Riley; then you have "Hope", a Don Cherry original and, in my opinion, one of his best ever. "The creator has a masterplan" a Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas interpretation shines on brassy and bold till we come to the fantastically calm Indian chant  "Resa", with a huge communal vocal chant by the Swedish Youth Orchestra and some beyond the world harmonium from the creator himself.


Well, it's a very interesting sound collage, sometimes trippy and sometimes mystically calm, but, overall a really good portrait of a persona whose musicality was so natural and magnanimous. I thank Gilles Peterson for introducing me to this record, now you can thank me for spreading the word around! You won't be disappointed in any kind of way. 





Primary Genre:  World music

Subgenre: Deep spiritual jazz, world fusion jazz

Release Date: 1973 

Label:  Caprice Records 

Influences:  Indian Music, Brazilian Folk music, Philip Cohran 

Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Philip Cohran, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra 

Album HighlightsTerry's tune, Resa, Hope 














Don Cherry 3









"Really captivating, invest the time in this and you shall be amply rewarded, 8.5/10 "



Contributor mini-profile

C. Mike

C. Mike

12 Fluffy Reviews
"It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens"
Mini bio
Member of the White Room film production team where he works as a director, editor and head chef. His team's clients include the famous and very talented musicians of the Greek music industry. He was also an amazing basketball player, but, nowadays, something's wrong with his shot balance , resulting in very poor performances. Nevertheless, he still believes in a resurection. 
Mike is a vinyl collector, with a pretty pretty good stock. He thinks music is his passion. But is he music's passion???

Favourite Bands / Artists
The Jam
The Verve
Peter Broderick
Sun Ra
Philip Cohran