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4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 9, 2002
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$25.80 + $3.99 shipping In stock. Usually ships within 3 to 4 days. Ships from and sold by Club JM.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Intuition
  • ASIN: B00005OCG0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,072 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
...otherwise, you should be advised as to what you are getting yourself into.
First, let me say this: As far as rare finds and collectors items go, this is a gem. I had never heard of this record before when one day I stumbled across the CD rummaging through a box at a used record store. The title "Actions" doesn't explain enough. The group is billed as The New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, featuring none other than experimental jazz guru Don Cherry and Krzysztof Penderecki (of Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima fame), known for his use of sound mass and tone clusters in his compositions, making him one of the foremost late-twentieth century composers. Needless to say, when I found this thing I nearly wet myself, and had to buy it regardless of whatever musical content was contained therein.
First of all, as I said before, just the content of this album makes it a must-own for fans of post-modern free-form music, even if only from a learning standpoint. Nevertheless, be warned: as you can probably guess by the name of the group, this is very much "free" jazz. The recording is of a 1971 concert at the Donaueschingen Music Festival in Germany. The first two pieces are "composed" by Cherry, and the last is "Actions for Free Jazz Orchestra," written and conducted by Penderecki.
To give you a taste of what you will hear, I offer the following quote from Cherry himself in the liner notes:
"I hate professionalism. I've been a professional musician long enough and shown I can do it. But professionalism became like a religion in certain quarters. To me, there's more to religion than that."
Needless to say, said professionalism has been very much eschewed from this performance. So you are not going to hear tight, explicitly notated licks.
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Format: Audio CD
I too immediately grabbed this from the bin of the used CD shop, figuring I'd either love it, or if I didn't would easily be able to pass it along to someone who would (it reeked of collectibility, as well as weirdness). I don't know if I love it exactly, but parts of track one alone turned out to be enough to keep it.

The New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra is an all-star ensemble that gathers an amazing proportion of the luminaries of the free jazz movement in a single live performance (to wit: Don Cherry, Tomasz Stanko, Albert Mangelsdorff, Peter Brotzman, Han Bennink, Terje Rypdal, Kenny Wheeler, Willem Breuker, Gunter Hampel, ...).

This is at times a challenging listen (as free jazz often is), yet there's also a distinct cohesiveness prevailing through a series of fine grooves in track one. Track two is interesting despite what the other reviews might lead you to think. Track three melds avant-classical composition with free jazz improv, for another performance that has unique merits. I'd like to hear the rest of the show (since this disc seems to be just part of it). Overall pretty sweet... and worth seeking out.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard Don Cherry playing pickup trumpet in his collaborations with Ornette Coleman, recordings from the late 1950's & early 1960's and suffice it to say both musicians have become favourites of mine ever since. Both artists are unique, originals in the jazz world; free thinkers who were not afraid to march to the beat of their own proverbial drum-perfect for me as I am very inclined to seek out new & unusual forms of music.

This album by Don Cherry & Krzysztof Penderecki is one of many albums featuring Don Cherry that I have picked up over the years and am always delighted with what I hear-is this album genius or is it madness? Well, yes to both and that's what makes it so great! The first track, "Humus-The Life Exploring Force" goes berserk right from the start, a large number of different jazz instruments-basically everything you're likely to hear in a jazz band except for vibes (and the kitchen sink!). To some it may sound like total madness/chaos but somehow it makes sense to me so there's a method to this "madness"!! It's really difficult to explain any better with words so I'll compare it to some other music you may have heard: John Coltrane's "Ascension" I & II, "Om" and Ornette Coleman's masterpiece "Science Fiction". In this first track Don Cherry really pushes the trumpet about as far as it can go similar to the way John Coltrane played sax in 1966-67...off the charts! This first track (recorded live) lasts nearly 19 minutes and for me is outstanding!

The 2nd track is sort of a brief bridge between tracks 1 & 3 (only 6:36), with Don Cherry chanting verbally to an Indian rhythm with minimal instrumental accompaniment but an enthusiastic crowd joining in and it's a fun listen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album was recorded in 1971, but I was only turned on to it recently, thanks to the beautiful freaks at WFMU in Jersey City. What struck me in the liner notes was the comment by Don Cherry that, as a longtime "professional" musician, he felt as if he were finished with professionalism and wanted to focus on a more spontaneous, truthful manner of playing. This album is wild, wooly and not for the faint of heart, but it rewards the patient listener with unequalled moments of joy and delight. It's not for everybody but it's most definitely for me.
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