Don-Cherry-_903938Trumpet great Don Cherry would have been 79 today. He was born in 1936 in Oklahoma City. Happy Birthday and R.I.P.

Cherry was not loved by all but he was an important lyrical trumpeter who was never about speed. He was not a physical player but preferred to emphasize expression.

He first picked up the trumpet at an L.A. high school with great backing from respected teacher Samuel Brown who quickly saw great things in Cherry. They began to absorb Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro, Gary Peacock, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Haden and Paul Bley.

By 1954 as a teenager he was already working professionally and then came his fateful meeting with Ornette Coleman. They quickly formed an amazing rhythmic relationship creating in a more modernist direction.

The 60’s saw Cherry in NYC where he played with Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, and Gato Barbieri,

Cherry always liked to look at himself as an improviser rather than a trumpet player. He got excited about mixing cultures in his music incorporated influences of Middle Eastern, traditional African, and Indian music into his playing. He always played without force it was all about emotion.

He ventured into pop working with Lou Reed and Talking Heads. READ THE COMPLETE STORY AT THISJAZZ.COM