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Jack DeJohnette's Made in Chicago welcomed home at Newport Jazz!

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Thursday August 06, 2015

From Rolling Stone
By David Fricke

*Fricke’s First Newport Jazz Festival: 5 Standout Sets
Jack DeJohnette’s Made in Chicago, Fort Stage, August 1st*

The friendships and unexhausted adventure in this group go back half a century, when DeJohnette and saxophonists Henry Threadgill and Roscoe Mitchell were charter spirits in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, co-founded in Chicago in 1965 by pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. The four reunited for a set, with bassist Larry Gray, at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2013, recently issued on CD by ECM. The group’s Newport reprise – an hour-long suite of scored fire music and marathon soloing impulse – was bold reveille, the first main-stage action of the day. DeJohnette’s thundering swing underneath the reeds and Abrams’ circular rain of piano was a timely revelation: a tidal charge of snare and toms that would, pared into something closer to a groove, drive the electric Miles Davis when DeJohnette joined his band in time for Newport in 1969, then the ’69 sessions for Bitches Brew. A final, hurricane round of free-dueling saxes, hammering piano and ecstatic DeJohnette was a reminder that the AACM’s mission – black power dedicated to the pursuit of a truly free jazz – has always been outlaw’s work. Back in ’65, these men wouldn’t have gotten into Newport without paying admission. Today, though, they were honored as warriors and welcomed home.

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