230

Jack DeJohnette: Oneness

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Jack DeJohnette has been called "The Wizard" by many jazz afficionados. His complex and uncanny ability to sound like two or more drummers has earned him much acclaim over the years. His discogrophy is impressive: Supporting Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett's "Standards Trio", Gateway with John Abercrombie and Dave Holland, numerous recordings as a solo artist and sideman equates to an impressive resume.

DeJohnette has recorded extensively for Manfred Eicher's much heralded (or maligned) ECM label. Eicher produces all of the ECM recordings which feature large doses of reverb and an overall cathedral-like sound. Eicher has come under fire in the past for his supposed dictatorship in and out of the studio; however, the ECM catalogue houses an impressive array of distinctive jazz recordings. DeJohnette has been one of the mainstays over the years. He has recorded several albums with most notably his "Second and Extra Special Edition" bands which featured the likes of Arthur Blythe, David Murray and John Purcell. DeJohnette is also a suitor of young talent. He introduced the jazz world to young sax phenoms Gary Thomas and Greg Osby.

After several cutting edge recordings for ECM he switched labels several years ago and recorded two mediocre recordings. Returning to ECM with last year's Dancing With Natures Spirits, DeJohnette displayed world music tendencies. His brand new follow up to that recording is called Oneness.

Oneness features Mike Cain on piano, Jerome Harris bass and guitar and Don Alias on percussion. Oneness is an ensemble recording, contrary to last year's Nature Spirits. DeJohnette's new recording may be an extension of his work with Keith Jarrett. The entire CD takes on an airy and ethereal mood. Mike Cain sparkles throughout. His chord structures and single note runs are reminiscent of Jarrett. He also directs the band here. While not a Jarrett clone and a talent to be reckoned with, Cain's sensitive touch creates a sense of space.

DeJohnette and Alias provide unobtrusive support and Jerome Harris' bass remains in the forefront. The first four cuts graduate into ethereal soundscapes with DeJohnette laying down the lightly swinging rhythmic structures. The fifth cut "From the Heart" is 27 minutes in length. Here, we find the pace picking up a bit and the boys start to swing. Oneness as the title may implicate, supplies a sense of inner-peace. The band at times, sounds playfull. Despite most of the deep passages and the occasional ambiance, this band is having fun. Witty time changes, fluctuating tempos and some foot tapping swing make for a wonderful narrative. The trip is well worth it. Not overly pompous or self indulgent as some anti-ECM folks would have you imagine.

DeJohnnette fans may yearn for something more; however, this recording exemplifies the intospective musician, not the drummer. Yes, Jack DeJohnette is a world class musician.

Track Listing:

Welcome Blessing; Free Above Sea; Priestess of the Mist; Jack In; From the Heart; C.M.A.

| Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

Multiple Reviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!