A Conversation with Jack DeJohnette

Legendary jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette will give a live interview for NYU at “SubCulture” on 45 Bleecker Street. You are invited to experience and get to know one of the most consistently inventive drummers in jazz history. Having played with Miles Davis, Coltrane, Charles Loyd and many more, Jack DeJohnette has a lot to tell. Open to the public, $10 admission, hosted by Dr. David Schroeder, director of NYU Jazz Studies.

The Telegraph album review: ‘rewarding’

In Britain, DeJohnette’s live album with fellow Chicagoan innovators Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill and Larry Gray is warmly greeted in the The Telegraph: “The range of expression these five players draw from their instruments is astonishing, particularly in Roscoe Mitchell’s ‘This’, where Baroque and bass flutes, piano and bowed double bass pace quietly in stately and sombre patterns. In Abrams’ ‘Jack 5′, the hint of blues that so often lies behind the ‘transcendental’ strain in black American jazz comes movingly into focus.” Learn more here.

Made in Chicago

With Made In Chicago, Jack DeJohnette celebrates a reunion with old friends. More than 50 years ago, 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 co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1965, DeJohnette, Mitchell and Threadgill were involved from the outset, presenting concerts and contributing to each other’s work under the AACM umbrella. DeJohnette then relocated to New York, but remained a frequent visitor and collaborator.

Invited to present a program of his own choosing in the context of the Chicago Jazz Festival, Jack DeJohnette brought his old colleagues together for a concert at Millennium Park in August 2013, completing the group with the addition of bassist/cellist Larry Gray. This live recording, documenting their first performance as a quintet, was mixed by DeJohnette and Manfred Eicher at New York’s Avatar Studio. The album is issued as the AACM begins its 50th year anniversary year, and is both a powerful contemporary statement and a reminder of the wealth of great diverse music and innovative approaches to playing, writing and arranging which the organization has introduced over the years.

In the liner notes, Jack gives much of the credit to Muhal Richard Abrams, for leading by example in the early days. “Muhal’s door was always open. He wanted to explore different ways of composing and improvising, and then demonstrated to me, Roscoe, Joseph [Jarman] and Malachi [Favors] those different possibilities. It felt natural, and we saw there were other ways to express ourselves through improvisation. Most importantly, we began to recognize something in each other.” Muhal emphasizes that “it wasn’t a process of encouragement. Everyone came ready to be an individual. That’s all it took. And it’s quite strong to be amongst people who want to pursue their individualism and accept that realization…. It felt special and unique because everyone was there for the right reasons, and everyone’s efforts seemed synchronized.” Henry Threadgill notes that “We gravitated toward people with a certain kind of voice and vision…When you’re young you like to look for people who want to try the things you want to try, to find some kind of comradeship.” Roscoe Mitchell observes that the work, and the mutual inspiration, is a continuing process: “Every time I get together with musicians from the AACM it’s like we are just picking up from wherever we left off. I think you can achieve great things in music by having these longstanding relationships with people. If you told me back then that this thing never stops, I might not have believed you. But now I see that’s really true.”

Along the way Mitchell, Threadgill, Abrams and DeJohnette himself have changed the history of the music, with many landmark recordings and volatile concerts. Though younger than these meanwhile iconic players, bassist and cellist Larry Gray now also qualifies as a veteran of the Chicago jazz scene.  Some of his earliest recordings were with Roscoe Mitchell and Jodie Christian, and he grew up absorbing the innovations of the AACM along with a wide scope of jazz and classical music and more. He first played with Jack in the early 1990s with another set of legendary Chicago soloists including Von Freeman and Ira Sullivan.

 Made In Chicago features compositions by Roscoe Mitchell (“Chant” and “This”), Muhal Richard Abrams (“Jack 5”), Jack DeJohnette (“Museum of Time”), and Henry Threadgill (“Leave Don’t Go Away”), as well as the collective improvisation “Ten Minutes”.  

The album marks ECM debuts for Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill and Larry Gray. Roscoe Mitchell’s ECM discography includes albums with the Art Ensemble of Chicago (Nice Guys, Full Force, Urban Bushmen, The Third Decade, and Tribute To Lester) as well as with his Note Factory band (Nine To Get Ready, Far Side) and with the US/UK Transatlantic Art Ensemble which he co-led with Evan Parker (Composition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3, and Boustrophedon).

 Jack DeJohnette, recently named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, has recorded prolifically for ECM since 1971. His first disc for the label was Ruta & Daitya, a duet with Keith Jarrett. Numerous recordings with Jarrett since then include many albums with the popular ‘Standards Trio’ completed by Gary Peacock (highlights include the six-CD set At The Blue Note, and, most recently, Somewhere).  Jack has led a series of distinguished groups of his own at ECM beginning with Directions, followed by New Directions and Special Edition. Special Edition’s recordings, with line-ups including David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, John Purcell, Howard Johnson and Baikida Carroll, were reprised in ECM’s Old & New Masters box set series in 2012 to great critical acclaim.  DeJohnette also co-led the Gateway trio with John Abercrombie and Dave Holland (albums Gateway, Gateway 2, Homecoming, In The Moment), and has recorded with frequent musical partner John Surman (The Amazing Adventures of Simon Simon, Invisible Nature, Free And Equal).  DeJohnette’s unique solo album Pictures stands as a classic amongst the early ECM recordings. He has furthermore appeared as drummer on numerous ECM sessions, including albums by Kenny Wheeler, Collin Walcott, John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny, George Adams, Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Gary Peacock, Bill Connors, Ralph Towner and Mick Goodrick.

Album Release Next January 24th.

Quick look to 2014

A new year is about to start and we would like to thank everybody for the great support and words along 2014. A great year that started with The Spring Quartet tour throughout USA and Canada, a JJA  Jazz Award Nomination in the categorie of Historical Record of the Year along with Miles Davis, JazzTimes Critics Pool winner in the category of Drums 2013, tours in Asia, Europe and  the US with Jack Trio with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison and some very special shows with Keith Jarret and Gary Peacock. Wrapping up this amazing year, Jack received the DownBeat Award 2014. Again, thanks for all your support and see you soon!

New Issue: Best Self

For the new issue of the online magazine Best Self, drummer Jack DeJohnette speaks out on his art and sprirituality with Peter Occhiogrosso. You can purchase the new edition on Apple Newsstand.

Two nights @Blue Note Milano

Last time Jack visited Milano was back in 2013 with Don Byron, George Colligan and Jerome Harris. This time he will accompaigned by Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison. Two dates that you should not missed if you are in Milano. Double set at 9pm and 11pm on November 11 &12. Learn more here

Jazz in November

From Thursday 5th to Sunday November 9, 2014 the Teatro Central in Seville will host a new edition of the series Jazz in November. The Jazz Festival will be held at Teatro Central in seville (Spain) and the groups confirmed are: David Murray Infinity Quartet , double bill with Trio Edition and Antonio Lizana Group, Jorge Pardo Cuarteto and Jack DeJohnette Trio featuring Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison. Plus every night after the show a jam session at the Theatre bar. Learn more here.

DownBeat 2014!

Thank you to the readers of DownBeat Magazine and congratulations to all of the other recognized artists and their accomplishments. – Jack

Jack on Tour in Europe

Jack DeJohnette trio will be performing in Europe along with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison. 7 opportunities to see the trio live in Köln, Lausanne, Hannover, Munich, Wien, Sevilla and two shows in Milano. Learn more here.

 

Woodstock Jazz Festival

Woodstock Jazz Festival This Saturday!!

Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski, and Larry Grenadier

http://www.ticketfly.com/event/671807