Made in Chicago
When jazz migrated north from New Orleans in the 1920s it slept on Chicago’s sofa before lobbing in New York, and the Windy City has remained a major jazz centre ever since. The 1960s were especially fertile: pianist Muhal Richard Abrahams’ ground-breaking Experimental Band led to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), which, in turn, spawned such notables as the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
When the Chicago Jazz Festival offered the great drummer Jack DeJohnette the chance to air the project of his choice in 2013 he reunited pivotal figures from those heady ’60s days: Abrahams and saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill, plus cellist/bassist Larry Gray. This album catches that performance, in which the years slip away and you’d swear you were listening to a bunch of kids in their 20s, so ferocious is the energy, so contagious the joy as they attack daring, sophisticated compositions with a rare depth of rapport. A must-have album, it will be a revelation to anyone only familiar with DeJohnette via Keith Jarrett’s trio.