If you're discussing the early intersection of jazz, rock and related styles, Miles Davis is an unavoidable name, and one of the players most directly responsible for helping Miles achieve his early breakthroughs in that area was Jack DeJohnette. While DeJohnette has never left the world of straight-ahead jazz and has also remained engaged with the avant-garde, this in-between zone that he explored with Miles in the late '60s and early '70s has remained a constant fascination for the drummer and pianist, from bands like Compost and Gateway right up to more recent projects like Hudson and his trio with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison.
Jack and his wife Lydia were kind enough to invite me to their home in upstate New York last summer (long before COVID!). Jack and I spoke about his time with Miles and Charles Lloyd, his connections to Earth, Wind and Fire, why he loved the drumming of both Mitch Mitchell and Levon Helm, his collaborations with members of Living Colour in his Music for the Fifth World album, and much more.
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