Organic Roots, cont’d

Organic Roots
David Ornette Cherry’s Organic Roots shows, once more, that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny — or, put in terms of progeny, the cherry never falls far from the tree. And where this Cherry falls, something beautiful sprouts and spreads, ripens and mellows: Organic Roots comprises an intricate musical rhizome, an offspring bred by recollection and innovation. The seeds of Organic Roots were planted in David’s early life, when sound waves bearing inspiration passed through his eardrum’s membrane and were absorbed by osmosis. The global rhizosphere in which these seeds germinated was warmed by light shining from his father Don Cherry, who created a true world music before the phrase existed.

Verbally, David’s Organic Roots echoes Don’s “Organic Music” of the early 1970s; sonically, it channels Codona, the trio Don formed in the late 70s with Colin Walcott and Nana Vasconcelos, and with whom David toured in 1982. David’s compositions have a Codona-like quality, an indigenous, planetary, spiritual searching. The cosmic-evolutionary journey his music takes is fuelled by an additional, distinctively-David element: propulsive groove, a reggae-funk feel. The recording is well-versed in David’s roots: Don’s Oklahoma Choctaw lineage and travels to Ghana, Togo, Mali, India, Turkey; David’s youth in Watts and lower east side Manhattan. The disk also traverses David’s routes: the Caribbean, Appalachia, Portland, where he now resides.

David’s musical genes express themselves in tunes, grooves, and riffs that, like Don’d best compositions, resound with neurobiological resonance — you can walk or talk, bone or dance, laugh or cry to them. David’s Cherry DNA carries inherited musical traits, but his own double helix is utterly unique: one strand planetary musical shaman, one strand DJ DubMaster. He is a visionary synthesize — as he integrates the piano keyboard with the computer keyboard, myriad sonic materials form musical soul-filled mixtures. Close your eyes, open that auditory canal: let all who have ears to hear him, hear David bio-musically-engineering his own organic roots, sowing the seeds of 21st century spirits to come.

– Paul Harris