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“Organic music” hero Don Cherry plays himself in an odd but brilliant French sci-fi short.
The narrative structure of this lesser-known short film by French filmmakers Jean-Noël Delamare, Nathalie Perrey, and Philippe Gras is absurdly satisfying. The premise is concise: Don Cherry plays “a black man, a free jazz trumpeter, comes to earth from another planet. He searches for the truth of this world, but doesn’t know which path to take. He wanders various roads, kills monsters, and finally discovers the four truths: MUSIC, WISDOM, LOVE, PEACE.” That synopsis appropriately encapsulates the experience of watching Cherry play a character with similar experiences to his own. Best, it’s all accompanied by a score consisting of Cherry’s improvisational woodwind musings, which are eventually joined by piano as the storyline progresses.
The lost soundtrack for these sessions, known simply as Music, Wisdom, Love, were released on vinyl via Finder’s Keepers’ Cacophonic imprint in 2017.