Jack DeJohnette Group
@ the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
16 November 2012
Click an image to enlarge.
Born in Chicago in 1942, Jack DeJohnette is widely regarded as
one of jazz music’s greatest drummers. He studied classical
piano from age four until fourteen before beginning to play drums
with his high school concert band and taking private piano lessons
at the Chicago conservatory of music. In his early years on the
Chicago scene, DeJohnette led his own groups and was equally in
demand as a pianist and as a drummer. He played R & B, hard
bop, and avant-garde and was active with the experimentalists of
the AACM in its early days, with the likes of founder Muhal Richard
Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman. In 1966, he drummed alongside
Rashied Ali in the John Coltrane Quintet. International recognition
came with his tenure in the Charles Lloyd Quartet, one of the first
jazz groups to receive cross-over attention, also alerting the world
to Keith Jarrett's skills.
DeJohnette has collaborated with most major figures in jazz history.
Some of the great talents he has worked with are John Coltrane,
Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Jackie McLean,
Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker,
George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Ron Carter, Lee Morgan, Charles
Lloyd, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard,
Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter and Eddie Harris, who is responsible
for convincing DeJohnette to stick with drums because he heard DeJohnette’s
natural talent. It was in 1968 that DeJohnette joined Miles Davis’s
group in time for the epochal upheaval marked by “Bitches
Brew”, an album that changed the direction of jazz. Jarrett
soon followed DeJohnette into the Davis group, and the drummer's
first ECM recording, the duet “Rutya and Daitya” was
made in 1971. Working with Miles also brought about collaborations
with John McLaughlin, Chick Corea and Dave Holland. In 1968 he recorded
his first album as a leader on the Milestone label, called “The
DeJohnette Complex”, where Jack played melodica along with
his mentor Roy Haynes on drums.
In the early 70’s he recorded two albums for Prestige, called
“Sorcery” and “Cosmic Chicken”. These early
sessions united Jack with Gary Peacock, Bennie Maupin, Stanley Cowell,
Miroslav Vitous, Eddie Gomez, Alex Foster and Peter Warren. Later
DeJohnette began to record as a leader for ECM. He has since recorded
as a leader for several record labels including, Columbia, Landmark,
MCA/GRP, and Toshiba/EMI/Blue Note. He is also known for his cutting
edge collaborations with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny
and Bobby McFerrin to name a few.
DeJohnette has received many awards for his music, including, the
prestigious French Grand Prix du Disque and Charles Cros award for
“New Directions” in 1979. “Audio-Visualscapes”
became album of the year in the Downbeat annual critics’ poll
1989. “Parallel Realities” won album of the year in
Japan. In 1991, “Earth Walk” won album of the year and
recording of the year in Japan. DeJohnette has been awarded an Honorary
Doctorate of Music from Berkley College of Music in Boston in 1991.
There is an extensive list of awards for drumming, including at
least 15 years of the Downbeat polls, the NY Jazz awards, and the
Jazz Central on line awards along with many international awards.
As well as his previous credentials, DeJohnette has also composed
soundtracks for both TV and video. He has enjoyed a cameo appearance
as a member of the “Alligator Blues Band” in the Blues
Brothers 2000 movie.
Jack DeJohnette’s wide-ranging style, capable of playing
in any idiom while still maintaining a well-defined voice keeps
him in constant demand as a sideman. He continues to collaborate,
push boundaries and record with many other music legends.