Downbeat review – Awake Vol. 2

I am extremely proud to have had Downbeat Magazine recognize my recording, Awake, Vol. 2 The Music of Don Cherry – and giving it a favorable 3 1/2 star review. As much as reviews are extremely subjective, it is a tremendous honor to be included in the pages of this hallowed publication. I have been reading Downbeat Magazine since I was a young teenager… I have to admit, it is pretty cool to see my name in print : ) Many thanks to Shifting Paradigm Records for their ardent support and their tremendous efforts in shedding light on many other Midwest-based musicians’ music.

“Trumpeter and leader Jamie Breiwick gives a tribute to one of the truly iconoclastic trumpeters in the  history of jazz, Don Cherry on this album of tunes associated with him. The flexible team of Lenard Simpson/as, Chris Weller/ts, Tim Ipsen/b-koto and Devin Drobka/dr mixes freedom and form   on these six pieces, with Breiwick  squeezing out notes from his mouthpiece like lemon seeds on the deeply grooved and percussive “Benoego”, while the more bopping Monsieur Allard”  has the horn man linked in with Simpson in a highly Ornette Coleman atmosphere.  A fluffy muted trumpet works well with  Weller on the floating “Bird Boy” and the horns are graceful as they saunter around Ipsen’s bass during “Ganesh”. Things get a bit abstract with some exotic koto tones supplied by Ipsen on “Interlude With Puppets”, but all of the colors here represent faithfully Cherry’s musical mosaic. This is their music.”
—George W. Harris,

“Something kinda cool happened here, something I didn’t consider in my selfish preamble: I enjoyed Awake Vol.2 without actively comparing it to Cherry. As it charmed, cheered, moved and thrilled me I didn’t think about Cherry at all. Breiwick and his crew have their own lovely thing going on. As with Cherry, it communes with joy, playfulness and hope, and it certainly connects emotionally, but it’s also contemporary, accessible and delivered with a designer’s considered touch rather than an artist’s sometimes free ‘abandon’.”
—Ian Ward, UK Vibe

“Milwaukee trumpeter and educator Jamie Breiwick releases his 15th album as a leader/co-leader, following the path of the golden era of bop and post-bop, by performing and recording somewhat furiously. All while maintaining a day job as a music teacher.”
—Bobby Tanzilo,

“Many jazz artists have honoured Ornette Coleman’s memory with covers of his compositions and in the case of Broken Shadows, the quartet fronted by saxophonists Tim Berne and Chris Speed, a band project. Don Cherry, who performed alongside Ornette for many years in his quartet and later in Old and New Dreams with fellow Coleman associates, hasn’t received the same amount of attention as his former bandleader, which is understandable given Ornette’s transformative impact. But as a dedicated global music explorer, Cherry left a lasting mark of his own and these days is being ever more recognized as an inspiration. Look no further for evidence than trumpeter Jamie Breiwick, who’s not only releasing music associated with the late pocket trumpeter but established his Awake Nu group project as an outlet for Cherry’s music. It’s but one of many bands fronted by Breiwick, others being KASE, the Lesser Lakes Trio, and the Monk repertory outfit Dreamland.”

“Don Cherry came up as a trumpeter and may be best known for his work with Ornette Coleman. But Cherry’s legacy might be the way he merged cultural and musical genres. How does a musician pay tribute to Cherry and wrap his head around his free-range approach? Jamie Breiwick’s ongoing project began with Awake / The Music of Don Cherry in 2019 and continues with the follow-up Awake: Volume 2, The Music of Don Cherry

A recent performance during Bay View Jazz Fest, Breiwick and his group performed in front of a screen projecting archival footage of Cherry. Like that night, the spirit of Cherry informs these recordings.”
—Blaine Schulz, Shepherd Express

Purchase the CD or digital download here: