Jack DeJohnette - Once in a lifetime

The latest project for drummer Jack DeJohnette is a live album Trio Beyond: Saudades based on a tribute project to fellow drummer Tony Williams’ Lifetime, a group that was at the forefront of the jazz-rock revolution in the late 1960s. DeJohnette teams up with organist Larry Goldings and guitarist John Scofield for the album. Stuart Nicholson talks to Jack about Tony Williams and recalls Jack’s tenure with Miles Davis especially the sessions in Washington DC recorded at the Cellar Door club and describes how De Johnette’s own group Special Edition in the 1980s provided a jumping off point for a new generation of jazz leaders
Jack DeJohnette - Once in a lifetime

In 1969, drummer Tony Williams caused a sensation in the jazz world by resigning from the Miles Davis group, the top gig in jazz, to form his own band Lifetime. His replacement was a young drummer who had gained international recognition as a member of the Charles Lloyd group called Jack DeJohnette. Since then, DeJohnette has continued to deliver on the enormous potential he displayed with Davis, and today, just like Williams before him, he is widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent drummers in jazz. 

Now, almost 40 years on, Jack DeJohnette once again has stepped into the shadow of Tony Williams. At the London Jazz Festival in 2004, DeJohnette, John Scofield on guitar and Larry Goldings on organ replicated the line-up of Tony Williams’ group Lifetime from 1969-71 that had John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ. DeJohnette’s group presented a blistering set under the rubric Lifetime and Beyond: Celebrating Tony Williams that was recorded by the Munich based ECM label and now released as Trio Beyond: Saudades.

To read the rest of this article subscribe here