Old and New Dreams


“The whole underlying theme for the new music…is to communicate honest, human values, and in doing that to try to improve the quality of life.” – Charlie Haden


A Tribute To Blackwell (Black Saint/1987)
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In Nov. 1987, a three-concert Ed Blackwell Festival was held in Atlanta. The festival served as a good excuse to reunite the members of Old And New Dreams (trumpeter Don Cherry, tenor-saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Blackwell), a quartet comprised of Ornette Coleman alumni. The unit interprets three rarely-performed Ornette Coleman compositions and a tune apiece by Blackwell and Redman. All of the musicians are in top form on this no-changes music, creating fresh and intuitive melodies with both freedom and hints of the tradition. (AllMusic.com)

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Playing (ECM/1980)
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This Austrian concert CD features the four notable Ornette Coleman alumni (trumpeter Don Cherry, tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Ed Blackwell) stretching out on three of Ornette’s tunes, plus a song apiece from Cherry, Redman and Haden. Recommended. (AllMusic.com)


Old and New Dreams (ECM/1979)
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The second recording by Old and New Dreams was, like its first from three years earlier, named after the group. Trumpeter Don Cherry, tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell made for a mighty team, performing high-quality free bop in the tradition of the Ornette Coleman Quartet (of which they were all alumni). In addition to two of Ornette’s tunes (including a lengthy exploration of “Lonely Woman”), the musicians each contributed an original of their own. Stirring music in a setting that always brought out the best in each of these musicians. (AllMusic.com)


Old and New Dreams (Black Saint/1977)
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A virtual reincarnation of Ornette Coleman’s first ensembles, the cooperative Old and New Dreams brought together trumpeter Don Cherry, tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell to reinterpret the master’s early repertoire. By the time their first album was released in 1978, ECM’s Old and New Dreams, all four musicians were leaders with their own projects; this perhaps explains the intermittent nature of their ensuing collaboration. The quality of the group’s recordings was uniformly high. With the deaths of Cherry and Blackwell in the ’90s, further collaborations of course became impossible. However, the band’s limited yet superb output is an important complement to the work they did under Coleman’s leadership in the late ’50s and early ’60s. (AllMusic.com)