Though Richie Beirach isn't obscure, he isn't as well-known as he should be. A flexible pianist, Beirach can be quite lyrical on standards, although being cerebral and abstract also comes easy to him. One of the more cerebral, unsentimental albums he recorded in the '90s was Trust, a fine post-bop trio date boasting Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums.
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.
Drummer Jack DeJohnette, now four releases down the road with his Golden Beams label, turns to the archives for this historic live set with Bill Frisell. The guitarist first heard DeJohnette's music as a teenager in the '60s, though it took some time before they would first perform together on Don Byron's Romance with the Unseen (Blue Note, 1999). They embrace a shared musical vision with one ear to the ground, digging the groove, and the other wide open to the possibilities of spontaneous invention in the moment.
While there is a plethora of Miles Davis tribute albums out there, this one is interesting for the basic fact that this horn quartet attempts to evoke his spirit without the use of a trumpet. To add spice, they employ African drums, with kalimba and voice. Selim Sivad: The Music of Miles Davis is the fifteenth album by the jazz group the World Saxophone Quartet and their third on the Canadian Justin Time label. The album features performances by Hamiet Bluiett, John Purcell, Oliver Lake and David Murray, with guests Jack DeJohnette, Chief Bey, Okyerema Asante, and Titos Sompa and is dedicated to Miles Davis.
This album was indeed a new direction for drummer Jack DeJohnette, by then an ECM mainstay who with this effort flirted with the free-flowing atmospheres then characteristic of the label’s popular European projects. John Abercrombie—another household name whose amplified strings do wonders for DeJohnette’s impulses—forms, along with Chick Corea veteran Eddie Gomez on bass, a triangular foundation upon which trumpeter Lester Bowie—the album’s shining star—builds his towering sentimentalism.
Drummer Jack DeJohnette's New Directions tended to promise much more than it delivered. The quartet (comprised of the leader on drums and piano, trumpeter Lester Bowie, guitarist John Abercrombie and bassist Eddie Gomez) was certainly full of talent, even if their performances often rambled before finding purpose. This live set has four lengthy pieces, three of which are DeJohnette originals (including "Where or Wayne") and a free improvisation by the band.
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.
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.