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Jack DeJohnette: A Drummer Who Stays 'In Movement' By Keeping Good Company

By Robert Siegel | NPR
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Recently, two new jazz recordings came my way. One, titled Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest, is an album of never-before-released studio recordings from Germany in 1968. Bill Evans plays piano and Eddie Gomez plays bass — but what made me to listen and re-listen to the album, mostly standards, was the drummer: Jack DeJohnette.

I listened to those nearly 50-year-old studio recordings after I heard about the second new album, In Movement, which features two famous sons of famous jazz fathers. Bassist Matthew Garrison's father was bassist Jimmy Garrison; saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is the son of the great saxophonist John Coltrane. On drums? A man who played with their fathers way back when, Jack DeJohnette.

"The secret is to just keep myself surrounded by innovative and creative musicians that stimulate me," DeJohnette says. "As Miles would say, 'Be prepared to play what you don't know.'"

Now 73, Jack DeJohnette has played with Coltrane, Evans, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett and many, many more. He recently joined us on All Things Considered to talk about pivoting from the piano to the drum kit early in his career, and what's different now that he's the veteran presence in the studio. Hear more at the audio link.

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