Don Cherry

Posted 2022-03-21

I first met Don in 1969 after my return from India. He used to come up and sit in when we played with Arbete och Fritid and we soon started playing together. In 1970 Don and Moki bought an old school in Tågarp in the south of Sweden, I spent a lot of time there with Don and his family and we played and practised a lot. On summer sundays there were concerts in the school and the audience consisted of music lovers that travelled there as well as the farmers and other locals staying in the area. The farming neighbours baked and sold coffee on the school yard. It was amazing to see how natural the blend of really far out avant-garde, simple songs and whatever guesting musicians offered was accepted by the audience. Don really had a way to get everybody on the right track whatever the level of musicianship or professionalism.

A short video from our concert at the Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw 1973

In 1980 we did a European tour with a slightly big group plus actor/dancer/magician. This is from Antibes on July 26, 1980. In the group: Jim Pepper, Jane, David and Eagle-Eye Cherry, Frank Serafino, Riky Busch, Bengt Berger, Rafael Cruz and Don Cherry plus magician Abdul LaFraise and mask dancer Binoche. Its not one of the best concerts from the tour but still interesting and as it is Don’s birthday today (Nov 19, 2019), why not?

We did some tours in Sweden, in Europe and U.S. and recordings together. Don took part in the Bitter Funeral Beer recording I did for ECM and also played with us in Frankfurt for the Live in Frankfurt album in 82 and in Bombay at the Jazz Yatra in 1984. Below are some concert photos and here are videos from Frankfurt….

…. and from a spontaneous one Sigge Krantz and I joined by keyboardist Joel A and drummer Ranjit from B’bay did with Don the night after our Bitter Funeral Beer Band concert in Bombay in 1984, quite awful quality really.

In 1971 Don and his family lived in the Muséum of Modern Art in Stockholm as part of the Exhibition Utopia and Visions. Here are some photos from that time:

In 2012 the Dome was recreated by Bengt Carling and we had a summer full of great music even though the weather was lousy, except on the opening in may. You find a lot of photos on the Bucky Dome page.

A few years back we did an album of Don tunes, celebrating him, it was called “See you in a Minute – Memories of Don Cherry” a good-bye phrase that he used a lot. We are quite satisfied with it, do have a listen. The band was Berger Knutsson Spering with friends that included Christer Bothén, Neneh and Eagle-Eye.

At Baltimore Kissa Society you find a site with a great article about Moki Cherry and her art, especially as an integrated part of Don Cherry music world.

all records with Don Cherry