Gabriel Bristow (UCL) - 2019-20 Students

Don Cherry’s international music

My research is focused on Don Cherry (1936-1995), a multi-instrumentalist best known as a jazz trumpeter. In my thesis I trace the arc of his music across the 1960s and ‘70s—from the birth of ‘free jazz’ to experiments in ‘world music’ avant la lettre—attempting to understand it in relation to the period’s social, cultural, and political upheavals. More than a missing piece of the historical puzzle that stands for nothing but its own particular truth, Cherry’s music shines a thin “beam of lyrical sound” onto world history, to borrow a phrase from Ralph Ellison. Or to put it in Theodor Adorno’s words: “Objective is the fractured landscape, subjective: the only light in which it glows.”

Primary supervisor: Paul Gilroy, UCL
Secondary supervisor: Daniel Matlin, KCL

Back to the top