94

Jack DeJohnette: Sound Travels

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jack DeJohnette: Sound Travels With 2012 barely underway, it looks like it's going to be a year to remember for drum legend Jack DeJohnette. The renowned rhythmic force behind classic recordings from Miles Davis, Charles Lloyd, Keith Jarrett—and numerous notable projects of his own—will receive some well-deserved recognition when he's inducted into the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Master Fellowship in January. Crossing the globe to bring his music to admirers around the world, 2012 also marks his 70th birthday. Putting him at an age when many people rest on their laurels and look back at their accomplishments with pride, DeJohnette keeps looking forward as he creates music that jazz fans can look forward to hearing.

Yet another cause for celebration, Sound Travels, is an easy-to-digest, cross-stylistic journey featuring some A-list players. DeJohnette's objective was "to make something that would make people move, to make them relax and forget their troubles." He wanted to "bring a smile" with these songs, which highlight his compositional and performance skills (on piano and drums), and there is, indeed, plenty to smile about.

DeJohnette bookends the album with two beautiful solo piano performances—the Zen-like "Enter Here" and Abdullah Ibrahim-inspired "Home"—but works with an all-star lineup elsewhere, with a few special guests invited to the party. Pianist Jason Moran makes an appearance on "Indigo Dreamscape," first heard on the leader's Parallel Realities (MCA, 1990), while beyond-category vocalist Bobby McFerrin brings his inimitable vocals to the serene and absorbing "Oneness," and Bruce Hornsby drops in to sing on an instantly likeable, odd-metered roots-rock number co-written with DeJohnette, "Dirty Ground."

While these high profile guests will likely bring some greater attention to the project, the band on hand needs no help delivering quality music. The two horns that appear at various times throughout the album—trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and saxophonist Tim Ries—add volumes as individuals, prove complementary in terms of blend and balance, and provide contrast in solo styles ("New Muse"). Other strong contributions come from guitarist Lionel Loueke, who puts an African slant on a calypso written in honor of Sonny Rollins ("Sonny Light"), and percussionist Luisito Quintero, who seasons the music with Latin spices ("Salsa for Luisito") and adds to the jam-based vibe on the brief title track. Bassist Esperanza Spalding anchors the group with her buoyant bottom end, but it's her angelically soulful pipes that may garner more attention, as she wordlessly glides along on "Salsa for Luisito."

DeJohnette's drum and piano work is more functional than flashy, reflecting the big-picture wisdom he's always shown, but his taste and talent are always apparent. While the title of this record may or may not have been an intentional double entendre, Sound Travels rings true; whether viewed as a globe-trotting aural odyssey or comfortable sojourn, both qualities make for an enjoyable listen.


Track Listing: Enter Here; Salsa for Luisito; Dirty Ground; New Muse; Sonny Light; Sound Travels; Oneness; Indigo Dreamscapes; Home.

Personnel: Jack DeJohnette: piano (1-7, 9), drums (2-6, 8), resonating bell (1), vocal (2), keyboards (3); Tim Ries: tenor saxophone (2, 3, 5, 8), soprano saxophone (3, 4); Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet (2, 4, 5); Lionel Loueke: guitar (2, 3, 5, 6); Esperanza Spalding: bass (2-6, 8), vocal (2, 3); Luisito Quintero: percussion (2-8), vocal (2); Bruce Hornsby: vocal (3); Bobby McFerrin: vocal (7); Jason Moran: piano (8).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: eOne Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

Multiple Reviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Bill Frisell Bill Frisell
guitar
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Elvin Jones Elvin Jones
drums
Kenny Wheeler Kenny Wheeler
trumpet
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Kronix" CD/LP/Track Review Kronix
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Brian Bromberg" CD/LP/Track Review Brian Bromberg
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" CD/LP/Track Review So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Oblique Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review Oblique Mirrors
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!