|Born||August 9, 1942|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, new-age|
|Instruments||Drums, piano, percussion, melodica|
|Labels||Milestone, Prestige, ECM, MCA, Blue Note, Columbia|
|Associated acts||Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, Charles Lloyd, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Don Byron, Compost (band)|
Jack DeJohnette (born August 9, 1942)is an American jazz drummer, pianist, and composer.
An important figure of the fusion era of jazz, DeJohnette is one of the most influential jazz drummers of the 20th century, given his extensive work as leader and sideman for musicians including Charles Lloyd, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, John Abercrombie, Alice Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock and John Scofield. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2007.
DeJohnette was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Jack DeJohnette (1911–2011) and Eva Jeanette Wood (maiden; 1918–1984) DeJohnette. Although of predominantly African American heritage, he has stated that he has some Native American ancestry, specifically Seminole and Crow. He began his musical career as a pianist, studying from age four and first playing professionally at age fourteen. He later switched focus to the drums. When Jack switched to drums he was also taught drumming techniques from a local jazz drummer who lived in the same neighborhood named Bobby Miller Jr. DeJohnette credits his uncle, Roy Wood, Sr. (1915–1995), a Chicago disc jockey and vice president/co-founder of the National Black Network of Black Broadcasters, as his inspiration to play music.
DeJohnette played R&B, hard bop, and avant-garde music in Chicago. He led his own groups in addition to playing with Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell and other eventual core members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (founded in 1965).He also occasionally performed with Sun Ra and his Arkestra (and later in New York as well). In the early 1960s, DeJohnette had the opportunity to sit in for three tunes with John Coltrane and his quintet, an early foray into playing with big-name jazz musicians.
In 1966 DeJohnette moved to New York City, where he became a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet.A band that recognized the potential influence of rock and roll on jazz, Lloyd's group was where DeJohnette first encountered pianist Keith Jarrett, who would work extensively with him throughout his career. However, DeJohnette left the group in early 1968, citing Lloyd's deteriorating, "flat" playing as his main reason for leaving. While Lloyd's band was where he received international recognition for the first time, it was not the only group DeJohnette played with during his early years in New York, as he also worked with groups including Jackie McLean, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, and Bill Evans. DeJohnette joined Evans' trio in 1968, the same year the group headlined the Montreux Jazz Festival and produced the album Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival . In November 1968 he worked briefly with Stan Getz and his quartet, which led to his first recordings with Miles Davis.
In 1969, DeJohnette left the Evans trio and replaced Tony Williams in Miles Davis's live band. Davis had seen DeJohnette play many times, one of which was during a stint with Evans at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London in 1968, where he also first heard bassist Dave Holland.Davis recognized DeJohnette's ability to combine the driving grooves associated with rock and roll with improvisational aspects associated with jazz.
DeJohnette played on the compilation album Directions , and was the primary drummer on Bitches Brew . DeJohnette and the other musicians saw the Bitches Brew sessions as unstructured and fragmentary, but also innovative: "As the music was being played, as it was developing, Miles would get new ideas...He’d do a take, and stop, and then get an idea from what had just gone on before, and elaborate on it...The recording of Bitches Brew was a stream of creative musical energy. One thing was flowing into the next, and we were stopping and starting all the time."While he was not the only drummer involved in the project, as Davis had also enlisted Billy Cobham, Don Alias, and Lenny White, DeJohnette was considered the leader of the rhythm section within the group. He played on the live albums that would follow the release of Bitches Brew, taken from concerts at the Fillmore East in New York and Fillmore West in San Francisco. These ventures were undertaken at the behest of Clive Davis, then president of Columbia Records.
DeJohnette continued to work with Davis for the next three years, which led to collaborations with other Davis band members John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, and Holland; he also drew Keith Jarrett into the band.He contributed to such Davis albums as Live-Evil (1971), Jack Johnson (1971), and On the Corner (1972). He left the Davis group in the middle of 1971, although he returned for several concerts through the rest of that year.
DeJohnette's first record, The DeJohnette Complex , was released in 1968; on the album, he played melodica as well as drums, preferring often to let his mentor, Roy Haynes, sit behind the set. He also recorded, in the early 1970s, the albums Have You Heard , Sorcery , and Cosmic Chicken .He released these first four albums on either the Milestone or Prestige labels, and then switched to ECM for his next endeavors; ECM gave him a "fertile platform" for his "atmospheric drumming and challenging compositions."
The musical freedom he had while recording for ECM offered DeJohnette many dates as a sideman and opportunities to start his own groups.He first formed the group Compost in 1972, but this was a short-lived endeavor, and DeJohnette cited the music as far too experimental to achieve commercial success. During this period, DeJohnette continued his career as a sideman as well, rejoining Stan Getz's quartet from 1973 to October 1974, and also enticing Dave Holland to join Getz's rhythm section. This stint briefly preceded the formation of the Gateway Trio, a group that DeJohnette helped form but did not lead. This group came directly out of the DeJohnette's time with Getz, as Holland joined him in this group along with guitarist John Abercrombie, both of whom would become associated with DeJohnette throughout his career. His next group effort was Directions, a group formed in 1976 featuring saxophonist Alex Foster, bassist Mike Richmond, and Abercrombie, showing the links between the members of the Gateway trio. This was another short-lived group, yet it led directly to the formation of DeJohnette's next group, New Directions, which featured Abercrombie again on guitar along with Lester Bowie on trumpet and Eddie Gómez on bass. This group coexisted with another DeJohnette group, Special Edition, which was the first DeJohnette-led group to receive critical acclaim. This group also helped the careers of many lesser-known young horn players, as it had a rotating front line that included David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, and John Purcell, among others.
During this period, especially with Special Edition, DeJohnette offered "the necessary gravity to keep the horns in a tight orbit" in his compositions while also treating his listeners to "the expanded vocabulary of the avant-garde plus the discipline of traditional jazz compositions."DeJohnette's work with Special Edition has been interrupted regularly by other projects, the most significant of which are his recordings in 1983 and tours from 1985 as a member of Keith Jarrett's trio, which was totally devoted to playing jazz standards. The trio included his long-time compatriot Jarrett and bassist Gary Peacock, and all three have been members of the group for over 25 years.
At the start of the eighties he played on the album 80/81 with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman and Michael Brecker. In 1981 he performed at the Woodstock Jazz Festival, held in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Creative Music Studio.
DeJohnette continued to work with Special Edition into the 1990s, but did not limit himself to that. In 1990 he toured in a quartet consisting of himself, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and his long-time collaborator Holland,and released the Parallel Realities CD with this group the same year. In 1992 he released a major collaborative record, Music for the Fifth World, which was inspired by studies with a Native American elder and brought him together musically with players like Vernon Reid and John Scofield. He had also, during the 1980s, resumed playing piano, which led to his 1994 tour as an unaccompanied pianist. He also began working again with Abercrombie and Holland, reviving the Gateway trio. In 1990, DeJohnette was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.
In 2004 he was nominated for a Grammy award for his work on Keith Jarrett's live album The Out-of-Towners , and continued to work with that group into 2005.In the next few years DeJohnette would begin and lead three new projects, the first of which was the Latin Project consisting of percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo and Luisito Quintero, reedman Don Byron, pianist Edsel Gomez, and bassist Jerome Harris. The other two new projects were the Jack DeJohnette Quartet, featuring Harris again alongside Danilo Perez and John Patitucci, and the Trio Beyond, a tribute to DeJohnette's friend Tony Williams and his trio Lifetime (consisting of Williams, Larry Young and John McLaughlin), featuring John Scofield and Larry Goldings. He also founded his own label, Golden Beams Productions, in 2005. That same year, he released Music in the Key of OM on his new label, an electronic album which he created for relaxing and meditative purposes on which he played synthesizer and resonating bells, and which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. He continued to make albums as a leader and sideman throughout this period as well, one of which was The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers, a collaboration that documents the first meeting of DeJohnette and guitarist Bill Frisell in 2001 and led to another tour, with Frisell and Jerome Harris. The next year Trio Beyond released Saudades , a live recording of a concert commemorating Tony Williams in London in 2004. In 2008 he toured with Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, and the Jarrett trio, and the next year won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album with Peace Time . In 2010 he founded the Jack DeJohnette Group, featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto saxophone, David Fiuczynski on double-neck guitar, George Colligan on keyboards and piano, and long-time associate Jerome Harris on electric and acoustic bass guitars.
In 2012, DeJohnette released Sound Travels, which included appearances by McFerrin, Quintero, Bruce Hornsby, Esperanza Spalding, Lionel Loueke, and Jason Moran.The same year, he was awarded an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for his "significant lifetime contributions have helped to enrich jazz and further the growth of the art form."
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Jack DeJohnette among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
DeJohnette's style incorporates elements of jazz, free jazz, world music, and R&B, contributing to him being one of the most highly regarded and in-demand drummers. Initially a traditional grip player, later he switched to matched grip due to a problem with tendinitis.
His drumming style has been called unique; one critic writes that he is not merely a drummer but a "percussionist, colourist and epigrammatic commentator mediating the shifting ensemble densities" and that "his drumming is always part of the music's internal construction."Modern Drummer magazine, in a 2004 interview, called DeJohnette's drumming "beyond technique."
DeJohnette calls himself an "abstract thinker" when it comes to soloing, saying that he puts "more weight on the abstract than, 'What were you thinking in bar 33?' I don't like to think that way. I can do it, but I like to be more in the flow."In terms of what he feels when he plays, DeJohnette said that when he plays, he goes "into an altered state, a different headspace. I plug into my higher self, into the cosmic library of ideas." He has remarked that he has to play with a lot of restraint when playing in Keith Jarrett's trio, in order "to play with the subtlety that the music requires."
John Scofield, sometimes referred to as "Sco", is an American jazz-rock guitarist and composer whose music includes bebop, jazz fusion, funk, blues, soul, and rock. He has worked with Miles Davis, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Charles Mingus, Joey DeFrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Pat Martino, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Billy Cobham, Medeski Martin & Wood, George Duke, Jaco Pastorius, John Mayer, Robert Glasper, and Gov't Mule.
Keith Jarrett is an American jazz and classical music pianist and composer.
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea was an American jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader, and occasional percussionist. His compositions "Spain", "500 Miles High", "La Fiesta", "Armando's Rhumba" and "Windows" are widely considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis's band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion. In the 1970s he formed Return to Forever. Along with McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, and Keith Jarrett, Corea is considered one of the foremost jazz pianists of the post-John Coltrane era.
Gary Peacock was an American jazz double bassist. He recorded a dozen albums under his own name, and also performed and recorded with major jazz figures such as saxophonist Albert Ayler, and pianists Bill Evans, Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett. The trio existed for over thirty years, and featured drummer Jack DeJohnette, who also recorded with Peacock on various other projects as well. DeJohnette once stated that he admired Peacock's "sound, choice of notes, and, above all, the buoyancy of his playing." Marilyn Crispell called Peacock a "sensitive musician with a great harmonic sense."
Dave Holland is an English jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been performing and recording for five decades. He has lived in the United States for over 40 years.
John Laird Abercrombie was an American jazz guitarist. His work explored jazz fusion, free jazz, and avant-garde jazz. Abercrombie studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He was known for his understated style and his work with organ trios.
Live-Evil is an album of both live and studio recordings by American jazz musician Miles Davis. Parts of the album featured music from Davis' concert at the Cellar Door in 1970, which producer Teo Macero subsequently edited and pieced together in the studio. They were performed as lengthy, dense jams in the jazz-rock style, while the studio recordings were renditions of Hermeto Pascoal compositions. The album was originally released on November 17, 1971.
Miles Davis at Fillmore is a 1970 live album by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and band, recorded at the Fillmore East, New York City on four consecutive days, June 17 through June 20, 1970, originally released as a double vinyl LP. The performances featured the double keyboard set-up Davis toured with for a few months, with Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea playing electronic organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano, respectively. The group opened for Laura Nyro at these performances.
A jazz trio is a group of three jazz musicians, often a piano trio comprising a pianist, a double bass player and a drummer. Jazz Trios are commonly named after their leader, such as the Bill Evans Trio.
Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West is a live double album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was recorded on April 10, 1970, at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, shortly after the release of the trumpeter's Bitches Brew album and the recording of Jack Johnson (1971). Black Beauty was produced by Teo Macero, Davis' longtime record producer.
Standards, Vol. 1 is a 1983 album of jazz performances that marked the starting point of the Keith Jarrett's "Standards Trio" in collaboration with Gary Peacock on double bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. It was recorded during two long sessions in January 1983, which also produced enough material for Jarrett's albums Changes (1984) and Standards, Vol. 2 (1985). The album was released by ECM Records on cassette and LP in 1983.
Changes is a jazz album recorded by Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock in January 1983 during the same sessions that produced the two albums Standards, Vol. 1 and Standards, Vol. 2; the albums together started a long performing and recording career for what became known as the Standards Trio. Changes was released by ECM Records in September 1984.
In the Moment is an album by Gateway, a trio composed of John Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. It was recorded in 1994 and released on the ECM label in 1996.
Yesterdays is a live jazz album by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette recorded in concert on April 30, 2001 at the Metropolitan Festival Hall in Tokyo and also at the sound-check recording of April 24, 2001 at the Orchard Hall in Tokyo that would give way to Always Let Me Go. It was released by ECM Records in 2009.
Up for It is a live album by American pianist Keith Jarrett's "Standards Trio" featuring Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette recorded at the Jazz à Juan festival in Juan-les-Pins, France, on July 16, 2002 and released by ECM Records in May 2003.
Beyond the Blue Horizon is a 1971 studio album by American jazz guitarist George Benson. It was his first album released by CTI and included organist Clarence Palmer, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Ron Carter, and percussionists Michael Cameron and Albert Nicholson.
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969–1974 is a remix album by Miles Davis, released on February 16, 1998, by Sony Records. It contains compositions from prior albums, including In a Silent Way (1969), On the Corner (1972), and Get Up With It (1974), remixed by Bill Laswell; it is subtitled "Reconstruction and Mix Translation by Bill Laswell". The album was composed as a dark, continuous tone poem divided by four sections of Davis' jazz fusion recordings. Panthalassa received generally positive reviews from music critics and sold well, charting at number four on the Billboard Top Jazz Albums.
Bitches Brew Live is a live album by Miles Davis. The album was released in February 2011 and contains material compiled from two concert performances. Most of the songs on the album originally appeared on Bitches Brew. The first three tracks were recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1969, nine months before the release of Bitches Brew, while the rest of the album was recorded at 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. The three cuts from Newport -- "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," "Sanctuary," and "It's About That Time/The Theme" —- were previously unreleased at the time and have since been reissued on the "At Newport 1955-1975" volume of the Sony Bootleg series. This recording marks the first known time that "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" was professionally recorded. The final six cuts appeared on the "Miles Electric" DVD in video form and the audio portion was included in the box set Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Album Collection. A seventeen-minute segment appeared under the title "Call It Anything" on the "First Great Rock Festivals Of The Seventies: Isle Of Wight/Atlanta Pop Festival" compilation album in 1971.
Somewhere is a live album by Keith Jarrett's "Standards Trio", recorded in Switzerland in July 2009, and released by ECM Records in May 2013.
Standards, Vol. 2 is a jazz album by pianist Keith Jarrett, with Gary Peacock on double bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums; the three are collectively known as Jarrett's "Standards Trio". It is the successor to their 1983 album Standards, Vol. 1. Like that album, its tracks were recorded during two long sessions in January 1983; these sessions also generated Jarrett's 1984 album of original music, Changes. Standards, Vol. 2 was released by ECM Records on CD and vinyl in April 1985.