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Jazz - Released January 16, 2015 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz

Jazz - Released May 6, 2016 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz

Jazz - Released November 4, 2008 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The first (and mightiest) of Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition ensembles offered a sound that in many ways was revolutionary in modern contemporary and creative improvised music circa 1980. With firebrand alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe and enfant terrible tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist David Murray bobbing, weaving, and counterpunching, DeJohnette and bassist Peter Warren could have easily stood back in deference to these heavyweight pugilists. The result was a vehicle by which DeJohnette could power the two with his two-fisted drumming and play piano or melodica when the mood suited him, while Warren could simply establish a foundation for all to launch their witty, extroverted, oftentimes boisterous ideas into the stratosphere. The recording starts off very strong with two definitive tracks. "One for Eric," perfectly rendered in the spirit of Eric Dolphy, has Blythe and Murray's bass clarinet taking off, flying, and then soaring. Their contrasting tart and sweet sounds merge beautifully, and not without a smidgen of humor. "Zoot Suite" sports a great 4/4 bass groove with quirky accents, while Blythe's alto and Murray's tenor repeat a head-nodding line, then Murray's sax chortles like a cow, then they float over DeJohnette's melodica, and on the repeat line the drummer powers the band to the finish line. Both of these tracks are as complete, fully realized, and utterly unique as any in modern jazz, and deserve standards status. But John Coltrane's visage is not far behind on the peaceful "Central Park West," with DeJohnette again on the underlying melodica, while "India" has DeJohnette leading out on a playful Native and Eastern Indian motif via his piano playing. Blythe and Murray literally weep on the alto and bass clarinet. The finale, "Journey to the Twin Planet," is a free-based improvisation, with Blythe's squawky alto and Murray's long-toned tenor with overblown harmonics held in mezzo piano range, and DeJohnette's melodica evincing an electronic stance. A craggy, wild, and free bop idea provides a bridge (or maybe wormhole) to a calmer, supposed other planet. While there are no extra tracks on this recording -- and they would be welcome -- this first version of Special Edition stands alone as one of the most important and greatest assemblages of jazz musicians. This LP deserves a definitive five-star rating for the lofty place it commands in the evolution of jazz toward new heights and horizons. ~ Michael G. Nastos

Jazz - Released December 7, 2012 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio

Jazz - Released July 19, 2019 | ECM


Jazz - Released January 17, 2012 | eOne Music


Jazz - Released November 10, 2000 | ECM


Jazz - Released June 9, 2017 | Motema Music, LLC


Jazz - Released September 8, 1997 | ECM


Jazz - Released January 26, 2004 | ECM


Jazz - Released May 6, 2016 | ECM


Jazz - Released February 23, 2018 | ECM

Oneness finds Jack DeJohnette in a subtle reflective mood, working with a minimal backing group highlighted by pianist Michael Cain. DeJohnette and Cain turn in a series of dialogues that finds the piano highlighting the statments and improvisations of the percussion. Things are at their noisiest on "Welcome Blessing," a duet with percussionist Don Alias, but Oneness stands as a welcome, minimalist and challenging effort from DeJohnette. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Jazz - Released December 8, 2017 | ECM

For Jack DeJohnette's 1995 ECM release, the drummer teams up in an unusual trio with pianist Michael Cain (who has his own sound) and the atmospheric reeds of Steve Gorn (who is heard on soprano, clarinet and bansuri flute). The five group originals (two of which are over 20 minutes long) build gradually to a high level of intensity. Although there is no bass, the music swings in its own way and DeJohnnette's drums and percussion are consistently stimulating. This thoughtful but often-fiery music is worth a close listen. ~ Scott Yanow

Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Fantasy Records

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. ~ Scott Yanow

Jazz - Released January 1, 1974 | Prestige

A lot of rambling takes place on this interesting but erratic LP. Drummer Jack DeJohnette (doubling on keyboards) performs three songs with a group featuring bass clarinetist Bennie Maupin and the guitars of John Abercrombie and Mick Goodrick; the music shows the influence of fusion (most obviously on "The Rock Thing") and has its strong moments (much of the nearly 14-minute "Sorcery #1"). But the attempt at humor on "The Right Time" is self-indulgent. The second half of this release, with trios by DeJohnette, bassist Dave Holland, and Michael Fellerman on metaphone (whatever that is), are less memorable. While one admires DeJohnette's willingness to take chances, this music has not dated well. ~ Scott Yanow

Jazz - Released October 2, 2007 | ECM

The ECM label's WORKS series is an excellent way to gain an introduction to the many artists on their roster. These albums are thoughtfully compiled, and this volume devoted to drummer, pianist, and composer Jack DeJohnette is no exception. These six tracks are culled from six different releases in DeJohnette's prolific catalog. The set offers material recorded with three of his ensembles, New Directions, Special Edition, and Gateway. Each lineup has a characteristic sound reflective of the distinct musical personalities of the payers involved. "The Gri Gri Man" (from TIN CAN ALLEY) is a solo piece that demonstrates DeJohnette's prowess on drums, timpani, congas and organ. As with all of Manfred Eicher's productions, the sound is clear and warm.


Jack DeJohnette in the magazine