Legendary drummer leads the Midlands gigs this week

Jack DeJohnette

We’ve had a visit from one of the world’s greatest saxophonists, Wayne Shorter; now one of the world’s most legendary jazz drummers is coming to town.

Jack DeJohnette turned 70 in August and is celebrating as only a jazz man knows how – with a big tour. His band – with Don Byron on reeds, Marvin Sewell on guitar, George Colligan on keyboards and Mike Mondesir on bass – comes to the Adrian Boult Hall on Tuesday evening.

Who has Jack played with? Who hasn’t he played with, more like. The list is too long to quote in full, but it includes Miles Davis (including his Bitches Brew album), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Bill Evans and, of course, Keith Jarrett.

DeJohnette first worked with Jarrett when they were both youngsters in the band of saxophonist Charles Lloyd, and has been a member of the pianist’s Standards Trio since 1985.

His own work as a leader has covered a fascinating range of music, often with strong Native American influences, and he is pretty mean pianist as well.

His drumming style is very much his own, showing a highly sophisticated rhythmic sense which has him moving effortlessly from strict time to free playing in almost any context. He’s a real melodicist, too, and sometimes it’s almost possible to sing his drum patterns.

Needless to say, the audience at a DeJohnette gig is going to have its fair share of drummers, but he is by no means simply a musician’s musician.

In fact, his own bands have often been far more accessible to a wider range of listeners than some of the projects he is involved in as a sideman. And this one looks like a real humdinger with the wonderful clarinettist/saxophonist Don Byron out front.

Jack DeJohnette was earlier this year the recipient of a Jazz Masters Award in recognition of his “extraordinary contribution to advancing the jazz art form and for serving as a mentor for a new generation of young aspiring jazz musicians”, and he has a new album out, Sound Travels, which includes special guests Esperanza Spalding, Bruce Hornsby and Bobby McFerrin.

The Jack DeJohnette Band is at the Adrian Boult Hall on Tuesday from 8pm. Tickets are available here. This is a Jazzlines concert.

Other good jazz gigs this week:

Tonight
The Fred Webb Quartet plays the Silvershine Jazz Club at Bearwood Corks Club from 9pm. Tickets are £4 on the door. More here.

Tomorrow
Cusp, from Manchester, plays the Jazzlines Free Jazz session at the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar at 5pm. Free entry. More here.

The Chris Corcoran Quartet plays the Birmingham Jazz Club Night at the Red Lion in Warstone Lane, from 7.30pm. Members free and just £3 for everyone else. More here.

The Broombusters add a jazzy soundtrack to your Chinese dining at the Chung Ying Garden in Thorp Street. Go here for more details.

Saturday
Matt Palmer’s Millennium Eagle Jazz Band are at the Chung Ying Garden. (See Friday for more information.)

Tuesday
The Breach Trio – two Scots and a Canadian taking a very fresh look at the organ trio format – are at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth from 9pm. The hat will go round. More here.



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1 reply

  1. The band line-up has changed with Marvin Sewell now on guitar and Mike Mondesir on bass. I’ve updated the post accordingly

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