Right Foot Start, Left Foot Follow!

I WALK
Don Cherry
Home Boy
Barclay : 1985

DC, vocals, piano, trumpet, harp, melodica; Ramuntcho Matta, guitar; Elli Medieros, backing vocals; Fil Mong, bass; Jeanne-Pierre Coco, congas; Abdoulaye Prosper Niang, drums.

It’s a straight-up fact that not enough jazz artists release 7″ singles. So here’s a flip side from a shoulda been chart-topper courtesy of globe-trotting jazz legend Don Cherry. The man was unafraid to mix styles and here he marries a tuff disco groove, avant blats of brass, percolating funk rhythms, and a lighter-than-air vocal. Tres Chic, no? It’s a quintessential summer tune, sure to put a strut in the ole step as you promenade around your ‘burgh. And if you’re not smiling by the time Don starts jonesing for some roller skates, well, you’re stuck in the timewarp winter doldrums. So check the temperature and get with it. It’s hot outside, baby.

For the genre-bound, we might label this: “Disco Jazz.” Or better yet: “Roller Disco Jazz.” Or maybe best of all: “No Wave Roller Disco Jazz.” Not for nothing was this track selected for the seminal no wave/dance compilation Disco/Not Disco. The tune hails from Don’s 1986 French effort Home Boy and marries his adventurous world-jazz fusions with funk and even some hip hop inflections. Dig his flow throughout the tune. Was this his attempt to sell out? Hardly. Home Boy is so obscure it isn’t even listed by the estimable All Music Guide. Call it brave instead and put it on repeat. “That’s it!” Don shouts. “I’m gone.” Indeed.

Category Don Cherry