Drummer Jack DeJohnette's debut as a leader (which has been reissued on CD) has quite a bit of variety. The music ranges from advanced swinging to brief free improvisations and some avant-funk. DeJohnette (who doubles on melodica) is joined by Bennie Maupin (on tenor and flute), keyboardist Stanley Cowell, bassists Miroslav Vitous and Eddie Gomez, and drummer Roy Haynes. He uses six different combinations of musicians on the eight songs (five of his originals, John Coltrane's "Miles' Mode," Cowell's "Equipoise" and Vitous' "Mirror Image"). Intriguing and generally successful music.
An otherworldly soundscape of aching beauty, this album is a must-have for aficionados of any member of this trio. Rypdal's guitar is hauntingly reverbed and distant throughout, though occasionally on "Seasons" he becomes too fond of caterwauling guitar synth. But this is truly an effort of trio fusion, with ineffable pieces like "Den Forste Sne" ( "The First Snow" ) appearing and melting away without any tangible solos or structure. From the opening cymbal strikes of "Sunrise," this album is marked by DeJohnette's best drumming on record; his cymbal sound, pushed to the front and recorded with mikes both above and below the cymbal's bell – "because that's how the drummer hears it" – is nothing short of revelatory. Vitous' bass steadies Rypdal's flights of fancy, while his subtle electric piano lines float above.
While pianist Luis Perdomo has earned plenty of praise for his work in Latin jazz settings with different artists such as percussionist Ray Barretto and saxophonist Miguel Zenon, classifying him as a "Latin jazz pianist" would be a mistake. Perdomo may earn his daily bread playing piano with many Latin luminaries and legends-to-be, but his work with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and his own albums place him at the vanguard of modern jazz, in all of its expansive and inclusive glory. Universal Mind is the Venezuelan-born pianist's fourth release as a leader, but it marks the debut of this compelling trio. Bassist Drew Gress and Perdomo built a chemistry and musical bond through their shared experiences in Coltrane's outfit, but the real story here is the connection between Perdomo and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The two push, prod and propel one another to great heights, while creating music that's thought-provoking, powerful, and unique.
This album was a surprise when it was released for it features drummer Jack DeJohnette exclusively on piano and synthesizer in a trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Freddie Waits. DeJohnette on a couple of the tunes was among the very first pianists to really capture the sound of Thelonious Monk. Other selections are more in his own style and he displays a strong technique that does not sound like the work of a drummer who is moonlighting.
With Made In Chicago, an exhilarating live album, Jack DeJohnette celebrates a reunion with old friends. In 1962, DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill were all classmates at Wilson Junior College on Chicago’s Southside, pooling energies and enthusiasms in jam sessions. Shortly thereafter Jack joined Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band, and Roscoe and Henry soon followed him. When Abrams cofounded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1965, DeJohnette, Mitchell and Threadgill were all deeply involved, presenting concerts and contributing to each other’s work under the AACM umbrella.
Jack DeJohnette has played with almost all the architects of modern jazz history, from the members of the AACM to Coltrane, Miles, Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Bill Evans and is, of course, currently a member of the world's most celebrated piano trio, Keith Jarrett's "Standards" band. For a quarter-century the drummer has also been a bandleader in his own right. Oneness joins a line of distinguished groups that includes New Directions and Special Edition and is perhaps Jack's most all-embracing unit to date: its members share the leader's utopian vision of a multi-directional music that includes, but is not limited to, jazz. The heart of the band is the uncanny rhythmic alliance between DeJohnette and Don Alias, first tested on Miles's innovative On The Corner and revitalized on the road with Herbie Hancock's The New Standard project.
Recorded in Tokyo's Orchard Hall before Japanese royalty and a packed house – and released two years later while Keith Jarrett was out of action suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome – the standards trio lives up to its formidable track record of consistency and then some. Jarrett and perennial cohorts Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette are, if anything, even sharper, swinging harder and more attuned to each other than ever.
John Surman (on baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, and synthesizers) and Jack DeJohnette (playing drums, electronic percussion, and piano) make for a very intriguing duo on these seven originals taken from a pair of live concerts. Other than "Song for World Forgiveness" (a ballad mostly by DeJohnette), the music is primarily freely improvised yet manages to be melodic, diverse, and logical. The performances are atmospheric, with both players utilizing electronics in spots while retaining their own musical personalities. Surman has long been a very flexible and mostly laid-back player, while DeJohnette also has the ability to fit in almost anywhere. Rather than individual melodies or solos, this CD is most notable for its overall feel and the blend between these two unique musicians.
Pictures (1977) is an intriguing offshoot of drummer Jack DeJohnette's work with guitarist John Abercrombie in the Gateway Trio and other groups. A series of lightly colored aural collages that also feature DeJohnette on organ and piano with Abercrombie playing electric and acoustic, it conjures spare, plaintive moods without ever seeming static or New Age-y. The styles vary, ranging from Spanish folk to lyrical fusion to splintered string effects reminiscent of experimental British guitar great Derek Bailey. DeJohnette, who has recorded on the piano in a more straightforward context to less satisfying effect, succeeds in making us see as well as hear his compositions.
Once Keith Jarrett gets into a concept, he likes to keep those tapes rolling. This two-disc live outpouring from a Standards Trio gig at Munich's Philharmonic Hall was the biggest offering from this group up to that time (it wouldn't hold that distinction for long) – and once again, Jarrett treats his brace of pop and jazz standards with unpredictable, often eloquently melodic and structural originality. To cite a pair of highlights: "Autumn Leaves" always seems to bring out an endless flow of invention from Jarrett, and "The Song Is You" gets off to a rollicking start and maintains a nearly relentless energy level for 17 minutes, closing with a Spanish vamp. Again, the rapport with his onetime jazz-rock associate, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and bassist Gary Peacock is total; DeJohnette's mastery of shifting cymbal patterns while maintaining the pulse acts on the trio like a loose tether made of carbon steel.