Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

147

Jack DeJohnette and John Surman at the Seattle Art Museum

Jack Gold-Molina By

Sign in to view read count
Jack DeJohnette and John Surman
Earshot Jazz Festival
Seattle Art Museum
October 26, 2002

The evening began with a kind of mood piece. With a background of ambient sound programmed into a sequencer and English reeds player John Surman complementing with bass clarinet, Jack DeJohnette read poetry by Walt Whitman, poetry that gave the listener a sense of awareness of the environment. Following his reading, DeJohnette then seated himself behind his drum set and triggered a pan-African rhythm from his midi percussion kit then proceeded to lay into the pocket with a backbeat. Surman improvised at first on his bass clarinet then later switched to saxophone playing intense, intricate runs often outside of the musical structure with DeJohnette complementing him. After thirty minutes or so, this first piece ended with the two musicians gradually easing back and allowing the ambient background music to once again become more prominent. The first set ended with a performance of "After The Rain" by John Coltrane with DeJohnette playing piano demonstrating that he is as skilled a pianist as he is a drummer.
Throughout the evening DeJohnette and Surman improvised at times playing with full musical intensity and other times playing more ambient musical passages. Surman alternated between bass clarinet, soprano, tenor and bass saxophone, and, in the final piece, midi stick in which DeJohnette also played midi percussion pads with his hands utilizing programmed sounds imitating djembes, congas, and tablas. Surman consistently pushed the limits of the musical structure with the two musicians at times approaching avante-garde territory, while DeJohnette played with a fiery intensity that was reminiscent of the "Lost Quintet" of Miles Davis's Bitches Brew era. As intricate and outside as Surman's playing was, DeJohnette's playing that night could have been compared with his playing on Miles's Fillmore albums of 1970.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon Live Reviews NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Nels and Alex Cline at The Jazz Bakery Live Reviews Nels and Alex Cline at The Jazz Bakery
by Jonathan Manning
Published: January 22, 2018
Read David Lyttle & Andreas Varady at Bennigans Jazz Club Live Reviews David Lyttle & Andreas Varady at Bennigans Jazz Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Never Alone: Reflections on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Never Alone: Reflections on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest
by Tyran Grillo
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Tierney Sutton Band at the Newman Center Live Reviews Tierney Sutton Band at the Newman Center
by Geoff Anderson
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Vorcza at Nectar's Live Reviews Vorcza at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Match&Fuse Dublin 2017" Live Reviews Match&Fuse Dublin 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Ambrose Akinmusire at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Ambrose Akinmusire at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Jeff Lorber Fusion at Nighttown" Live Reviews Jeff Lorber Fusion at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Omar Sosa Residency at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Omar Sosa Residency at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Dawn Clement Trio at Kitano" Live Reviews Dawn Clement Trio at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Lila Downs at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn" Live Reviews Lila Downs at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn
by Ernest Barteldes
Published: July 9, 2017