Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
In contrast to jazz percussion peers Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette is more of an impressionist on the drums, a specialist in subtle cymbal work and understated tom-tom accents. DeJohnette can play hard when h... more »
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In contrast to jazz percussion peers Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette is more of an impressionist on the drums, a specialist in subtle cymbal work and understated tom-tom accents. DeJohnette can play hard when he wants to, but this new album emphasizes the quieter, more nuanced aspects of his playing. Accordingly, he has assembled a band featuring scat singer Bobby McFerrin, worldbeat percussionist Paul Grassi, acoustic guitarist Marvin Sewell, and Baltimore saxophonist Gary Thomas. Every piece begins with DeJohnette's insinuating, intricate syncopation and builds from there as the other musicians improvise on that original pattern. The result has the laid-back, mesmerizing quality of Pat Metheny's collaborations with singer Pedro Aznar. --Geoffrey Himes
Jack DeJohnette, man!!
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Jack DeJohnette date is a studio recording from 1980 that features a quartet with David Murray on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Arthur Blythe on alto, and Peter Warren on bass and cello. It's true that Jack DeJohnette is something of an impressionist drummer and, as such, he helped define the sound of the ECM label, home of Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, and Jan Garbarek. He was also known for the occasional piano excursion and on this album plays both piano and melodica when he's not on the skins, while showcasing his compositional talents with 3 originals and 2 Coltrane tunes.
In addition to DeJohnette's adventurous writing, this recording is really defined by the presence of World Saxophone Quartet players David Murray and Arthur Blythe. David Murray is the heir apparent to Eric Dolphy, and here he pays tribute to the bearded one with bass clarinet excursions on the DeJohnette penned "One for Eric" and the Coltrane/Dolphy standard "India." Murray has really mastered this instrument (though he typically favors tenor sax) and I'm always searching for albums where he gets it out. Like Murray, Blythe is also comfortable stretching things out in the upper register with wails and squawks when the moment calls for it.
On "One for Eric," after the players state the theme, Murray gets into a sauntering bass clarinet exploration before Blythe picks up the pace in the second half with a wailing alto sax solo, then bass and drum solos before the group returns to repeat the theme in unison to conclude. Fairly straight ahead structure here with fiery solos. "Zoot Suite" on the other hand, alternates between a repeated six-note stanza, with the players dancing around it very much in the spirit of the WSQ, and sections of third-stream cello-infused textures. Murray and Blythe get into a duel at the 2/3rds mark, before a return to third-stream impressionistics to round out the piece. Coltrane's "Central Park West" is a brief, languid ballad with the horns and cello playing an almost dirge without time for any soloing. "India" has DeJohnette starting things off on piano, with Murray on bass clari and Blythe on alto coming in like Coltrane and Dolphy before Murray goes into his solo and then Blythe following -- this tune is similar in form to the first track, with great horn soloing on top of a fairly standard arrangement.
It's "Journey to the Twin Planet" that is the standout here, and apparently an acquired taste, though I acquired this album because of this particular track. It's a bit avante garde and starts deceptively slow and exploratively with melodica, tenor, and alto sputtering, squawking, and blowing airily before things gradually build to a spastic, orgiastic release at 2:22 with all four players going at it -- DeJohnette crashing the cymbals, Murray blustering away, Blythe caterwalling, and Warren plucking furiously. Then they're back to the careful explorations that they started with, continuing at a snails pace with melodica, cello, and horns, before segueing into a melodica-led rhythm that sounds like something Steve Reich would have written. It's adventurous, other-worldly, and out-there -- honestly, I wish the whole album was like this, though obviously some will feel the opposite.
At 38 minutes, this is an all-too-short album, but the DeJohnette arrangements, fierce blowing by Murray and Blythe, and curious instrumentation make this a fascinating and enjoyable album."
One of the better CD's I bought this year
Anthony Cooper | Louisville, KY United States | 11/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This re-release is a very strong CD. The description on Amazon is wrong - supporting players are David Murray and Arthur Blythe on saxes, and Peter Warren on bass. "One For Eric" intersperses a written riff with free-ish soloing by the band. David Murray starts on bass clarinet, and you hear the wood in the instrument (I was going to say he sounds 'wooden' but that's not right- he sounds great throughout this CD). "Zoot Suite", per its name, has a few disparate elements. It begins almost like a World Saxophone Quartet song (there's three saxes in the beginning, I'm not sure how they're doing that) with a small solo over a saxophone ostinato. After some free playing, they return to that same catchy beginning riff. "Central Park West" is almost a feature for Peter Warren's cello. It's nice, but doesn't have any improvisation. "India" is a very good version of the CD's second Coltrane song. It's fairly straightforward, but still witchy and mysterious. Jack Dejohnette plays piano in the beginning. "Journey To The Twin Planet" is the free-est song on the disc. The band is in fine form, and I like the improvisation.
Any jazz fan who appreciates a little freedom (though I wouldn't call this CD 'free jazz') should definitely pick this up. David Murray fans should especially get this one."
Dejohnette makes it special
Case Quarter | CT USA | 05/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"someone made a mistake, the amazon editorial review refers to a different recording, the personnel on special edition consists of peter warren on bass and cello, david murray on tenor sax and bass clarinet, arthur blythe on alto, and dejohnette playing drums, piano and melodica.
two coltrane songs, central park west and india, and three originals by jack dejohnette, make up the recording. on central park west, warren's cello harmonizes with the horns. one of the highlights of the recording is how well murray and blythe harmonize together and play off of each other, particularly on journey to the twin planet, evocative of a spaceship from a sci-fi film. blythe and murray play with wonderful control on all the compositions which seem to be kept brief for that reason. india, at six minutes, shorter in time than coltrane's rendition, ended too soon for me. i love the sound of the bass clarinet, and what murray does with it on one for eric.
dejohnette's drumming, his approach on the cymbals, is all his own, which is why he's become in recent years, more than ever, the drummer of choice for so many other group leaders. as a leader himself, he shines, having assembled the players he did, and the way he did, for the five musical selections, and for his nods towards the music of ornette coleman and lester bowie and the world saxophone quartet."