Codona live in New York, 1984
I’m a huge Don Cherry fan. I own at least 30 of his records, but my relationship with his discography starts to get sticky toward the end of the 70’s. Like many of his peers, he seems to have begun to question his relevance, allowing the influences of popular culture to alter his course. There are notable exceptions, in particular his astounding duo with Ed Blackwell El Corazón from 1982, and Codona, his wonderful collaboration with Collin Walcott and Nana Vasconcelos, which lasted from 1979 until Walcott’s untimely death in a car accident shortly after this film was shot. Codona drew on its three member’s deep engagement with Non-Western musical traditions, spinning them into a brilliant hybrid with their Free-Jazz roots. The resulting sonic tapestry is a dream come true. This film shows the band at top form, snapping into focus the deep tragedy of Walcott’s death, and all that might have been. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.