The American Jazz Quartet – Live at Jazz Festival Saalfelden – August 29, 1986 – ORF-Austria Radio –
A serious summit meeting this weekend. A concert given during the 1986 Saalfden Jazz Festival in Austria on August 29th of that year and broadcast by ORF-Radio in Vienna.
Consisting of; Don Cherry, Trumpet – Dewey Redman, Tenor Sax – Charlie Haden, Bass and Paul Motian, Drums, it represented the cream of Free Jazz in the 1980s.
Don Cherry was an American jazz trumpeter who had a long association with free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman, which began in the late 1950s. He also performed alongside musicians such as John Coltrane, Charlie Haden, Sun Ra, Ed Blackwell, the New York Contemporary Five, and Albert Ayler.
In the 1970s, Cherry became a pioneer in world fusion music, drawing on traditional African, Middle Eastern, and Hindustani music. He was a member of the ECM group Codona, along with percussionist Naná Vasconcelos and sitar and tabla player Collin Walcott. AllMusic called him “one of the most influential jazz musicians of the late 20th century.”
Dewey Redman was best known for his 1968-1972 collaboration with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, with whom he had performed in his Fort Worth high school marching band. He also played in pianist Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet (1971–1976). Jarrett’s The Survivors’ Suite was voted Jazz Album of the Year by Melody Maker in 1978. In the 1970s Redman formed the quartet Old and New Dreams with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell. They recorded four albums in the period to 1987.
Charlie Haden was known for his warm tone and subtle vibrato on the double bass. His approach to the bass stemmed from his belief that the bassist should move from an accompanying role to a more direct role in group improvisation. This is particularly clear in his work with the Ornette Coleman Quartet where he frequently improvised melodic responses to Coleman’s free-form solos instead of playing previously written lines. He frequently closed his eyes while performing, and assumed a posture in which he bent himself around the bass until his head was almost at the bottom of the bridge of the bass.
Paul Motian was a masterfully subtle drummer and superb colorist, he was also an advanced improviser and a bandleader with a taste for challenging post-bop.
Put them together and they spell Legend. Hit the Play button and let your mind wander.
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