Jack DeJohnette / Ravi Coltrane / Matthew Garrison - In Movement - ECM 2488



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“Jack DeJohnette, who as a drummer-bandleader has rarely drawn hard distinctions between searching and finding, recently formed a trio of compatible ideals. Featuring Ravi Coltrane on saxophones and Matt Garrison on electric bass, it’s both earthy and elastic, capable of sneaking in and out of song form, disinclined to rush toward resolution…” 

Nate Chinen, The New York Times

There is a lot of history concentrated in the new trio led by Jack DeJohnette. Fifty years ago, as a young drummer sitting in with John Coltrane’s group, he played with the fathers of both Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison. Ravi, an accomplished saxophonist in his own right nowadays, not only had an iconic father but also the questing keyboardist-harpist Alice Coltrane as his mother. Matthew, bassist and electronic experimentalist, is the son of Jimmy Garrison, the bassist of the classic Coltrane quartet. For In Movement, their first album together, DeJohnette, Coltrane and Garrison touch upon multiple legacies, starting with

that of John Coltrane. The recording begins with a distinctive treatment of his ever-moving Civil Rights Era elegy “Alabama,” a version that balances reverence with independence. The trio also abstracts the impressionistic “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis and Bill Evans (with DeJohnette one of the few musicians to have played in the bands of both men). There’s also “Serpentine Fire” from the hit ’70s R&B songbook of Earth, Wind & Fire; it serves as a funky tribute to the group’s late leader, Maurice White, who also collaborated with DeJohnette in their early years. There are original homages, too: “The Two Jimmy’s” nods doubly to fellow innovators Jimmy Garrison and Jimi Hendrix, while “Rashied” salutes the late, great Rashied Ali, the drummer of Coltrane’s free-minded late period.


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Yet for all the album’s wealth of historical references, the trio of DeJohnette, Coltrane and Garrison is a forward-looking band, their ears sharply attuned to the possibilities of 21st-century sound. Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison, each making his ECM debut, respond magnificently to DeJohnette’s driving grooves and colour-rich cymbal play. Ravi provides cascading solos, while Garrison adds growling lines on five-string electric bass guitar as well as atmospheric, looping electronics. DeJohnette says of his trio mates: “We are connected at a very high, extremely personal level that I believe comes through in the music.” The three musicians have long histories together, with DeJohnette serving as something of a second father to Matthew and mentoring Ravi at length, too. They first performed as a trio for a one-off show at the Brooklyn Museum in 1992.

Twenty years later, they reunited for a series of exploratory rehearsals and concerts, eventually convening in New York’s Avatar Studios with ECM’s Manfred Eicher, whose galvanizing role as producer helped shape the trio’s free-flowing performative chemistry into a wonderfully cohesive, allusive studio statement.