DeJohnette re-release remains a 'Special Edition'
Jack DeJohnette et al. (ECM)
Special Edition was exactly what the name implies. In its four albums under drummer Jack DeJohnette, the band never had the same personnel, so the sound always was different. Like the band, each album was its own Special Edition. Marking the drummer's 70th year, ECM has released a four-disc collection of the band's albums. When taken together, the difference in the bands is quickly noticeable. The group from the “Special Edition” release in 1979 is reedier and edgier than the one from “Album Album” five years later. The second album, “Tin Can Alley” from 1980 takes its individual sound from the hard-bop-tinted saxophones of Chico Freeman and John Purcell instead of the Eric Dolphy-ish ones of David Murray and Arthur Blythe. Then, “Inflation Blues” from 1982 takes on its own difference because it is the only one with a trumpeter, Bakida Carroll. The three saxophones of “Album Album” offer the most striking sound of the four bands, standing out particularly on “Monk's Mood.” They also restate “Zoot Suite” from the first album. Another changing feature in the collection is DeJohnette's work. Besides providing his powerhouse, creative drumming, he offers moments on a variety of keyboards and even voice. In that way, he changes the sound of the band another way. As always, though, his drumming is a defining part of the band. “The Gri Gri Man” on “Tin Can Alley” is a percussion powerhouse.
DeJohnette and a current band will be at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild on the North Side on March 2.
— Bob Karlovits
‘Money Jungle: Provocation in Blue'
Terri Lynn Carrington (Concord Jazz)
Like its inspiration. Terri Lynn Carrington's “Money Jungle” is more a trio project than an album of the drummer, She, bassist Christian McBride and the ever-developing pianist Gerald Clayton created a powerful joint project in the same way Duke Ellington, drummer Max Roach and bassist Charles Mingus did to the original in 1963. Making this even more a homage to the original is the photo on the last page of the CD notes. It is a mimic of the cover of the Ellington album. This album uses eight pieces from the original, including the title song, “Fleurette Africaine” and the correctly named “Very Special.” It also has two songs by Carrington and one by Clayton. Besides the trio, it features a visit from trombonist Robin Eubanks, saxophonist-flutist Tia Fuller, Antonio Hart on flute and the late Clark Terry doing one his trademark vocals. It has some spoken-word comments from such guests as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Despite the multiplicity of direction and style, the best part of the album is the play by the trio. The album is available Tuesday.
— Bob Karlovits