Album: Don Cherry, Hear & Now (Atlantic)

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The Independent Culture

Reissue of a rare 1977 fusion album by the shamanistic Cherry (1936-95), the Ornette Coleman Quartet trumpeter.

It's all over the place stylistically, from Indian mysticism to heavy metal, played by bizarre bands including Marcus Miller, Tony Williams and even Michael Brecker on sax. And yet at least a couple of the tracks – the opening "Mahakali", with Moki (Neneh's mum) on tamboura; and "Universal Mother", on which Cherry raps about his Watts childhood, are amazing, presaging Bill Laswell's funky world-fusion.