NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette Week Begins at All About Jazz with Extensive Interview and More!


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Approaching 70 later this year makes 2012 a special time for Jack DeJohnette. One of five artists to receive the 2012 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Fellowship only makes it more so for the veteran drummer/pianist, who has appeared on hundreds of recordings over the past 45 years, including landmark sessions with artists including trumpeters Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler, saxophonists Charles Lloyd and Joe Henderson, guitarists Pat Metheny and John Abercrombie, and pianists Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett (with whom DeJohnette approaches another milestone in 2013, as his longstanding Standards Trio nears its 30th anniversary).

To make 2012 even more eventful, DeJohnette will be unveiling his latest recording as a leader on January 17. Sound Travels (eOne, 2012) is a special project that teams DeJohnette with a core group of younger players who are, as he explains, “all making their mark in the world." Grammy Award-winning bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding joins trumpet sensation Ambrose Akinmusire, unmistakable guitarist Lionel Loueke, versatile saxophonist Tim Ries and increasingly ubiquitous percussionist Luisito Quintero on an album of all-original DeJohnette compositions (one, “Dirty Ground," co-written with guest vocalist Bruce Hornsby) that also features guest spots from vocal star Bobby McFerrin and pianist Jason Moran.

It's DeJohnette's most eclectic record since Music For the Fifth World (Manhattan, 1992), and distinguishes itself amongst his thirty recordings as a leader by being the first to almost equitably balance the stylistically unbound drumming for which he's built his reputation and his equal, if not as well-known skills as a pianist. “It's a celebratory record," said DeJohnette in a brand new interview with AllAboutJazz.com Managing Editor John Kelman that kicks off an unprecedented week-long series of DeJohnette features. “It celebrates me hedging up on my 70th year, and it celebrates not only the piano and the drums, it celebrates the voice as an instrument."

You can read all about DeJohnette's recording of Sound Travels, his ongoing Jack DeJohnette Group responsible for last year's download-only Live at Yoshi's 2010 (Golden Beams, 2011), his longstanding relationship with ECM Records and label-head Manfred Eicher, and much, much more in Jack DeJohnette: Time and Space, published today at AAJ.

But that's only one of over twenty separate features that will run throughout the week, to celebrate DeJohnette, Sounds Travels and his Jazz Masters induction. Here's the run-down:

Monday, January 9:
Read Jack DeJohnette: Time and Space;
Read John Kelman's review of Sound Travels;
Download “Sonny Lite," a full track from Sound Travels, today's Download of the Day;
Watch “Jack In," from a live performance of DeJohnette's 1990 tour Parallel Realities (MCA, 1990) tour with Dave Holland, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny, today's Video of the Day;
Check out Jason Crane's Jazz Session, a new podcast interview with DeJohnette;
Check out a recent performance photo by Jos L. Knaepen, today's Photo of the Day.

Tuesday, January 10:
Read John Kelman's review of Live at Yoshi's 2010, republished today;
Download “Tango Africaine," a full track from Live at Yoshi's;
Watch “Last Night at Yoshi's," a short documentary about the Jack DeJohnette Group that includes some live performance footage;
Check out an archival photo of DeJohnette performing with Miles Davis, by David Redfer.

Wednesday, January 11:
Read John Kelman's review of Music We Are (Golden Beams, 2009), republished today;
Download “Tango African," a full track from Music We Are;
Watch a live 1993 performance of DeJohnette's Special Edition;
Check out a recent portrait, courtesy of DeJohnette.

Thursday, January 12:
Read Nils Jacobson's review of DeJohnette's live duo recording with guitarist Bill Frisell, The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers (Golden Beams, 2006), republished today;
Download “Ode to South Africa," a full track from The Elephant Sleeps;
Watch a live 1985 performance of “God Bless the Child," with Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio;
Check out another live shot by Roberto Masotti, courtesy of ECM Records.

Friday, January 13:
Read John Kelman's review of DeJohnette's duo recording with kora master Foday Musa Suso, Music From the Hearts of the Masters (Golden Beams, 2009), republished today;
Download “Ocean Wave," a full track from Music From the Hearts of the Masters;
Read a second review of Sounds Travels, written by Dan Bilawsky, published today;
Watch a live mid-'90s performance by Gateway, DeJohnette's collaborative trio with Dave Holland and John Abercrombie;
Check out another archival performance shot by Roberto Masotti, courtesy of ECM Records.

All About Jazz is committed to bringing you the most extensive coverage surrounding artists and new releases, so be sure to check out all the buzz surrounding 2012 NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette, Sound Travels, and all the other goodies being brought to you by All About Jazz today...and for the rest of the week!

Photo Credit
Jos L. Knaepen

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