• This Week in JazzSet History: Jack DeJohnette and Ron Carter

    May 10, 2012. Posted by Alex Ariff.

    JazzSetAnniversaryNoTag_200x200_FinalThis week in JazzSet History we'll hear clips from two legends:  bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette.  Carter and DeJohnette have known each other for years, and continue to perform side by side. This past January, DeJohnette was inducted as as 2012 NEA Jazz Master. The two shared the stage at the awards ceremony to perform "When Will The Blues Leave" by Ornette Coleman. All of the clips in this post come from JazzSet's extensive Festival Internatiaonal de Jazz de Montréal archive.

    Ron Carter turned 75 last week (born May 4, 1937), so I thought it fitting to feature him first. Standing 6'4'', Carter is nearly the height of his bass. He has influenced nearly every bassist of the past 50 years. Rob Hurst is one. In an interview with JazzSet host Branford Marsalis, Hurst recommended Picello as one of Carter's best albums as a leader, and Miles Smiles and ESP as his favorite albums featuring Carter as a bassist. I personally love his playing with Miles Davis' second quintet and on Wayne Shorter's Speek No Evil. The following clip certainly justifies his stature. Feel free to leave your favorite Ron Carter musical moment at the bottom.

    Carter performed in one of the small theater, living room concerts at the 1994 Festival Internatiaonal de Jazz de Montréal. Here is Carter's bass solo on “My Funny Valentine.” Listen closely at 2:06 for the "Bohemia After Dark" quote!

    Ron Carter (c) Jack Vartoogian from the 1995 NYT "Honoring Ron Carter in His Prime" by Peter Waltrous

    Let's fast forward to the 2003 Festival Internatiaonal de Jazz de Montréal. Artistic director, André Ménard selected Jack DeJohnette as the festivals artist in residence. DeJohnette created a series of concerts with a different band: one show, every night, for four nights! The first clip we'll hear is a dangerous trio: DeJohnette, drums; Herbie Hancock, piano and Dave Holland on bass. I was honored to witness this band back in 2010 at Herbie Hancock's "Seven Decades: A Birthday Celebration." Here is DeJohnette's solo on "One Fingers Snap."

    Finally, here is a duet between DeJohnette and vocalist Bobby McFerrin. The two freely improvise for a few minutes, then DeJohnette begins to play a funky back-beat. This is the moment when McFerrin enters, scatting a mumble-jumble of words, syllables and jargon.

    I will be back in two weeks to present a special recap on JazzSet's trip to Cuba in 1998. JazzSet presented three consecutive weeks of Cuban jazz in 1999, so look forward to a large amount of professional and field recordings! 

    Alexander Ariff is a Master's  student in Jazz History & Research at Rutgers University. In celebration of 20 years, he digs up and shares special gems from the JazzSet archive.

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