Terry Riley/ Don Cherry/ Karl Berger – Koln, February 23, 1975

Modern Silence – 2016


This recording must have been something amazing to witness live. This combination of musicians, though at first seems odd, works perfectly. Terry Riley played keyboards as well as composed two of the three pieces, the third being an improvisation. Don Cherry dons the trumpet and Karl Berger joins for the second side of the LP on vibes. This whole concert is all about feel. It fluctuates between periods of sparseness to supremely dense sections, all while conjuring a relaxing and calming mood. The repeated keyboard phrases that slowly change, adapt, and accumulate on top of one another leave room for Cherry to weave in his punctuations. Cherry’s playing is relaxed and thoughtful, his lines are not busy and he holds a lot of long tones, all fitting perfectly for the set mood. When Karl joins for side two, there is a slight increase in the energy felt. It is almost like side one relaxes you completely and then side two starts to gently raise you from hypnosis. The calmness is still present, but you start to feel a tension in the air. It is sometimes hard to distinguish between the keyboards and the vibraphone, which is actually perfect conceptually. There is no ego in this set, it is not about each musician and their showboating, it is all about the feel. My recommendation is to pick this album up, turn off the lights, and enjoy.