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Jack Dejohnette with Glover: freshness that keeps jazz alive

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Monday February 29, 2016

From TribLive
By Bob Karlovits

Review: Glover, DeJohnette provide fresh look at rhythm at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild

Jazz followed the beat of a different dancer Friday evening at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on the North Side.
Oh, and a drummer had a great deal to do with it.

Dancer/choreographer Savion Glover and drummer Jack DeJohnette were at the heart of one of the freshest, most original jazz concerts here in decades.
It was a look, simply, at rhythm. But being done by Glover and DeJohnette, it was an examination at the doctoral level.
It is easy to understand. Glover is the man who created “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk”, did the animation motion capture for the film “Happy Feet” and, right now, is working on a new Broadway production, “Shuffle Along,” with Pittsburgh native Billy Porter.

Drummer DeJohnette was on the seminal “Bitches Brew” album, is the stick-man in the Keith Jarrett Trio and tours in various-shaped bands of his own.

Talents at this level know what they are doing.
The concert took three, basically equal stages: a 25-minute solo dance exhibition by Glover, a performance by the DeJohnette trio, and a duet by the dancer and the drummer. Although it was overwhelmed by the dance work, the trio performed two edgy tunes that put it at the same creative level as the rhythm mongers. Doing DeJohnette’s “Blue” and keyboardist George Colligan’s “Song for the Tarahumera,” it was lively and fresh, backed up by Jerome Harris on electric bass. Colligan offered good, aggressive play on his tune and played moody, pocket trumpet on the drummer’s number.

But the dancing — and drumming — was the most stunning work of the night.

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