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Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "This"

Drummer Jack DeJohnette reunites with his longtime comrades emanating from Chicago's fabled Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founded by pianist Muhal Richard Abrams in 1965. This live outing recorded at Millennium Park in 2013 was part of the Chicago Jazz Festival and signifies the musicians' inaugural performance as a quintet, paralleling the AACM's 50th anniversary.

The album as a whole contains the anticipated sensitivities, nu-jazz compositional characterizations and improvisational ingenuity documented or inferred within the embodiment of AACM's birthright. Consequently, the band gels within ascending opuses, comprised of circular ostinato motifs, roomy developments, temperate soul-searching passages and bluesy sojourns as opposed to a consortium of bristling burnouts. However, true to form, DeJohnette acts as catalyst and colorist, regardless of tempo or pitch.

Roscoe Mitchell's "This" is a restrained and contemplative opus led by his bass flute parts, along with Henry Threadgill's use of the baroque flute for a piece that is deeply probing and initially anchored by Abrams' genteel block chords. Here, Larry Gray uses his violincello to cast a solemn tone, as the pianist's trickling upper-register single notes provide a counterbalancing ray of light to the processes. A sense of isolation enters the picture, but DeJohnette drops a few bombs as the ensemble imparts a flourishing vibe, framed by the dark flute passages and brooding thematic constructions while vivid imagery of unanswered questions —pertaining to your topic or fantasy of choice —comes to fruition. In sum, the band gave the audience its money's worth, evidenced by the rousing reception it received on "This," and throughout the entire presentation.

Track Listing: Chant; Jack 5; This; Museum of Time; Leave Don’t Go Away; Announcement; Ten Minutes.

Personnel: Henry Threadgill: sax alto, flauto basso, flauto a becco basso; Roscoe Mitchell: sax soprano, sax alto, flauto a becco; Muhal Richard Abrams: pianoforte; Larry Gray: contrabbasso, violoncello; Jack DeJohnette: batteria.

Title: Made in Chicago | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: ECM Records

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