Get This: Don Cherry


Seriously, order this record today (Release date July 20).

Don Cherry was one of the most wonderful musicians of the 20th century, an artist who could communicate to anyone on earth by cherishing every type of roots music he could find and returning it to the listener as the most sociable kind of gift. There’s a lot of lip service paid to music as a universal language—it is in the abstract, but music as a practice does not consistently cross cultural borders. Except that is when Don Cherry played.

If don’t know Home Boy (this reissue expands it as Home Boy, Sister Out, with extra tracks), it’s Cherry’s funk record, for lack of a better term. It stretches from rhythm and blues to hip hop tinged tracks, and Cherry doesn’t play but sings. The amount of charm here is immense, the songs are a joy, and the sincerity and earthiness make it deep. One of my favorite records ever, make it yours.



I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.