Jack DeJohnette, John Abercrombie, and Dave Holland Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Nov. 2, 8 p.m. 2012

Chicago native Jack DeJohnette has spent his 70th year in his customary fashion—contributing his distinctive, hard-driving playing to lots of music made by lots of different bands. In January at the Kennedy Center the drummer, pianist, composer, and bandleader was honored as an NEA Jazz Master (along with fellow Chicagoan Von Freeman), but you shouldn't assume from this late-career recognition that DeJohnette's achievements are all behind him—far from coasting on earlier innovations, he still sounds as hungry as ever, seeking out new challenges for himself. Of course, his CV is impressive too, and includes significant work with Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Charles Lloyd, Freddie Hubbard, and Michael Brecker, among many others. He's led many varied projects of his own, and played fusion and international styles as well as standards; he's a complete jazz musician if there ever were one. Tonight he appears with guitarist John Abercrombie and bassist Dave Holland—the three of them are known collectively as Gateway, and seem to get together every two decades or so. When this trio formed in the mid-70s it was thorny, exploratory, and a bit raw, mixing Abercrombie's polished twang with elegant postbop and free playing, to mixed effect. But when Gateway reemerged in the mid-90s it had found a sweet spot, sounding like a real band rather than an audacious but untried project—its music was sleek and gracefully melodic, a bit pastoral but still briskly swinging and crisply rendered, with a touch of rock energy. The three members moved smoothly between improvised and composed material and anticipated one another's moves, playing together with the force and precision that only experience provides. —Peter Margasak

Price: $27-$87

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