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Jack DeJohnette's debut release for his new Golden Beams label, Music From The Hearts of the Masters, pairs the legendary drummer with internationally renowned kora player, percussionist, and griot Foday Musa Suso for a transporting duet which encases the listener in an intricately designed and masterfully executed world of sound.
As a jazz drummer, DeJohnette needs no introduction. His command over the drum kit has set him apart since the earliest stages of his career, and his constant innovations as part of the Keith Jarrett trio secured his place in jazz history long ago. With Music From The Hearts of the Masters DeJohnette departs from the traditional jazz idiom almost completely to present a series of compositions blending musical styles and traditions from around the globe, with a particular focus on the Gambian tradition mastered by Suso.
Instead of flooring the listener with bravura displays, these two virtuoso musicians take the less obvious route, combining their voices into an ego-less, fluid whole that invites the listener into the stunning complexity of their music. Taking full advantage of the notoriously challenging koraa 21-string harp-luteSuso weaves an intricate melodic and harmonic web, which Dejohnette compliments perfectly with his distinctively melodic style and unerring rhythmic sense.
A work of rare spiritual and musical clarity, Music From The Hearts of the Masters possesses a quiet strength which grounds Suso's often abstract, sometimes esoteric excursions to create a uniquely contemplativealmost meditativeexperience.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.