Jack DeJohnette on Piano Jazz

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Jack DeJohnette

hide captionJack DeJohnette.

Set List

  • "Freddy The Freeloader" (M. Davis)
  • "I Loves You Porgy" (G. & I. Gershwin, DuBose)
  • "Alice In Wonderland" (Fain, Hilliard)
  • "It Could Happen To You" (Burke, VanHuesen)
  • "Ambiance" (McPartland)
  • "Blue In Green" (Evans, Davis)
  • "Silver Hollow" (DeJohnette)
  • "Mr. PC" (Coltrane)

Drummer Jack DeJohnette was born in Chicago in 1942. He began studying piano at the age of 4 with a concert pianist who lived in his neighborhood. He also listened to a lot of jazz, thanks in large part to his uncle, a popular jazz DJ in Chicago. Jack was fascinated by the music — before he could even read, he could pick out his favorite records by the color of the label and the depths of the grooves.

He studied classical piano for 10 years before he started playing drums in his high school band. His skills on the skins eventually took him to the American Conservatory of Music. As a teenager, DeJohnette gigged around the Chicago music scene, leading his own groups and sitting in with others as both pianist and drummer. He did everything from playing and singing standards in piano bars, to working in R&B bands, and even experimenting with the Chicago jazz collective known as the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

In 1966, DeJohnette moved to New York and joined Charles Lloyd's quartet, one of the most popular jazz groups of the day. When he wasn't touring the world with Lloyd's group, he was gigging around New York City clubs with John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Rashied Ali and Stan Getz.

In 1969, DeJohnette joined Miles Davis' group just before one of his most famous recordings, Bitches Brew. The group featured other emerging jazz stars, including Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Wayne Shorter. The same year, DeJohnette began a long and interesting career as a leader with his first album, The DeJohnette Complex, which featured him on both drums and melodica. Throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, DeJohnette continued playing both drums and keyboards, recording with various groups including Gary Peacock, Stanley Cowell, Dave Holland, Eddie Gomez, Lester Bowie and John Abercrombie, to name a few. DeJohnette also worked as a sideman, appearing alongside Corea, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny and Eliane Elias.

Since the early 1980s, DeJohnette has been an integral member of Keith Jarrett's Standard Trio, playing drums with bassist Gary Peacock. The group came together to reinterpret standards, a practice that was largely out of fashion during the experimental and fusion phases that characterized the jazz scene in the 1970s. The group also produced several popular and critically acclaimed albums based entirely on group improvisations.

Originally recorded Dec. 11, 1992. Originally broadcast Feb, 27, 1993.

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