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Don't be Afraid - Essential Listening
on 26 April 2009
A recent BBC series about jazz described the year this album was released (along with those by Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus and Miles Davies) as the year that changed jazz and this album as one of the key influences and the start of free jazz. For many listeners this could be a major turn-off - but don't be, this is fabulous listening.
Coleman has an original approach to jazz that focusses on not on chords but individual expression. The opening moments of the first track, Lonely Woman, has Coleman and Cherry playing together without chords but it all merges to be exciting, emotional playing. The remaining tracks build on this and as a piece this creates a memorable album.
like many jazz enthusiasts, I have lost whole evenings to free jazz and wondered why I'd bothered. This album shows what can be done in the hands of a master.