Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jack DeJohnette

  • New Directions [ECM, 1978] B+

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New Directions [ECM, 1978]
Because this date by the former Miles Davis drummer features the protean Lester Bowie in a relatively muted frame of mind, comparisons are made to In a Silent Way. But guitarist John Abercrombie is more like an anti-intellectual Bill Evans (bassist Eddie Gomez's mentor, by the way) than like John McLaughlin. And DeJohnette's heads don't match Davis's and Zawinul's on Silent Way any more than DeJohnette himself matches Tony Williams. For all that, a lot warmer than most of what this label seems to think is jazz, especially on side two. B+