Jack's in charge
David Zehring | La Veta, CO United States | 06/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not your familiar piano trio, certainly not what we've come to expect from Jack's association with the superb Standards Trio with Keith Jarrett and Gary Peacock. Jack De Johnette has wandered off the beaten track to make interesting and unusual music with a variety of musicians and in a variety of styles, and this outing is no exception. He's on melodica as well as his Sonor kit, and seven of the eleven compositions are either his or his in collaboration with his two band-mates, Danilo Perez and John Patitucci. Patitucci plays both electric and acoustic bass, and Perez is on acoustic piano and electric keyboards.
There's not much hard-charging music here, so the Jack you heard when he collaborated with Bill Frisell a couple of years ago is missing here. Instead, he goes to his collection of bell cymbals for color. He's more likely to paint than to surge. His compositions are complex, with arranged parts throughout, but there's still plenty of room for Danilo Perez, one of the most original of an astonishingly large group of jazz pianists playing and recording today. Patitucci's playing on electric bass is often guitar-like. He contributes one composition to the CD, and Danilo Perez has written two for this recording.
In some ways, this trio is more democratic than Jack's main band, the Standards Trio with Keith and Gary, because here Jack's compositional and conceptual voice has much more prominence, and his playing is looser and more integral to the compositions themselves. This is another departure for Jack De Johnette, but it's a very satisfying one. Just don't expect to simply tap you feet to the groove."
R. Herman | Austin,TX, USA | 04/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Dejohnette's new album, Music We Are on Golden Beams Productions, proves, for me once again, that Jack Dejohnette is truly both one of our great creative forces, and an explorer supreme.
When I got the album I had certain expectations, having heard Jack Dejohnette play with piano greats such as Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and of course, Keith Jarret. I have even heard him leading a trio playing the piano with somebody else on drums. Listening to this album, therefore, was a complete surprise, because it is nothing like any of the music made with any of the fore mentioned collaborations.
This music transcends musical genres and boundaries. It is extraordinary in its scope and expression, and left me with same excitement I have only experienced at a live performance. With pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patatucci, the trio exudes an incredible sense of both ensemble and individual musical expression and power. The interchange between the individuals is exciting, and recognizes no musical clichés. They explore the genre they have come from and push hard into the regions of the modern classical without ever seeming contrived or pretentious. These are great musicians who don't believe in playing it safe. They truly have the courage of their musical and professional convictions, and have created, for me, a thing of great delight.
Jack Dejohnette has always been a master of time and space, and for everybody he has ever accompanied, he seems to create the space for them to fully explore their own musical ideas and clears a path for them and pushes them along it. In this album, he not only does this, but has co-created with them the very music they are taking down that path. The result is astonishing.
It would be very easy to imagine parts of this album being conceived as orchestral pieces, and perhaps, one day, have we might have the prospect of it being presented as such.