Though Richie Beirach isn't obscure, he isn't as well-known as he should be. A flexible pianist, Beirach can be quite lyrical on standards, although being cerebral and abstract also comes easy to him. One of the more cerebral, unsentimental albums he recorded in the '90s was Trust, a fine post-bop trio date boasting Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums.
Drummer Jack DeJohnette, now four releases down the road with his Golden Beams label, turns to the archives for this historic live set with Bill Frisell. The guitarist first heard DeJohnette's music as a teenager in the '60s, though it took some time before they would first perform together on Don Byron's Romance with the Unseen (Blue Note, 1999). They embrace a shared musical vision with one ear to the ground, digging the groove, and the other wide open to the possibilities of spontaneous invention in the moment.
While there is a plethora of Miles Davis tribute albums out there, this one is interesting for the basic fact that this horn quartet attempts to evoke his spirit without the use of a trumpet. To add spice, they employ African drums, with kalimba and voice. Selim Sivad: The Music of Miles Davis is the fifteenth album by the jazz group the World Saxophone Quartet and their third on the Canadian Justin Time label. The album features performances by Hamiet Bluiett, John Purcell, Oliver Lake and David Murray, with guests Jack DeJohnette, Chief Bey, Okyerema Asante, and Titos Sompa and is dedicated to Miles Davis.
Unlike the other two Keith Jarrett trio recordings from January 1983, this collaboration with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette does not feature standards. The trio performs the 30-minute "Flying" and a 6-minute "Prism," both of them Jarrett originals. "Flying," which has several sections, keeps one's interest througout while the more concise "Prism" has a beautiful melody. It is a nice change to hear Jarrett (who normally plays unaccompanied) interacting with a trio of superb players.
Jack DeJohnette knows how to turn traditions inside out. He can invest light-touch cymbal playing with the feel of pulsing funk. His freer patterns of blast can sound like some of the most refined avant-percussion you've ever heard. Though while DeJohnette is obviously an original, he's not bent on tearing down all the boundaries between jazz sub-genres. His engagement with various aspects of blues and swing flows from an evident reverence for each specific style. Even when pushing his own creative language to new places, DeJohnette manages to keep the inherited forms in view.
A really wonderful early album from drummer Jack DeJohnette – maybe his most obscure record from the time, and maybe one of his best as well! The album's got a very open, spiritual sort of vibe – out one minute, and more soulful the next – as Jack stretches out on drums with a very cool quartet that includes lots of sweet reeds from Bennie Maupin – who plays tenor, bass clarinet, and flute – plus bass from Gary Peacock, and both acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes from Hideo Ichikawa. Tracks are quite long, and very open – handled with the greater freedoms that Columbia Japan was offering musicians at the time – including Peacock.