November 28, 2015

Jack DeJohnette - Pictures (1976)


The used vinyl jazz section in all of the record stores I frequent generally sucks, as everybody holds onto the original Blue Notes and Impulses they might have with their life, but I needed to find at least something for a Christmas present for my father. I had never heard of Pictures, but decided to get it because the cover was awesome, it was an ECM album, and Jack DeJohnette was one of the sickest elements to contribute to Miles' electric albums. Pictures is almost a solo-drums album, which sounds toolish, but I was confident that Jack DeJohnette's meticulous and mind-over-matter approach to playing the instrument would prevail--I was not disappointed. DeJohnette is accompanied by some distant synth calls and electric guitar from outer space. DeJohnette carefully pieces fresh rhythms and primitive drumming together like Tony Williams for this self-reflective piece of fusiony, avant-garde, emptiness. In different ways, the album is reminiscent of Larry Young and Wayne Shorter circa 1970. The album might trail off into nothingness a lot of the time, but that's part of the appeal to me.