Jack DeJohnette: Bayou Fever


Bayou Fever


Jack DeJohnette (drums)


New Directions (ECM 1128)

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Jack DeJohnette (drums), Lester Bowie (trumpet), John Abercrombie (guitar), Eddie Gomez (bass).

Composed by Jack DeJohnette


Recorded: Oslo, Norway, June 1978


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

From the only studio recording by Jack DeJohnette's short-lived supergroup, "Bayou Fever" is essentially a formless atmospheric piece, bookended by a one-line melodic phrase played by unison trumpet and guitar. The middle 8 minutes are foreboding and dark, filled with interesting nuances, witty musical dialogue and impulsive subtleties. Though the men never reach a catharsis, their ominous ruminations remain faultlessly engaging. Abercrombie's playing is limited to textural ambience, and though his sounds are essential to the song's mysterious ambiguity, one might wish he were a touch more prominent. DeJohnette, as always, is consistently surprising and alert. The group's most arresting ingredient is the trumpeting of Lester Bowie. The late AACM founder's vocal-like quality is uniquely his own; his use of half-valves, smearing, mumbling low notes and howling high register gives his playing an incredibly wide range of emotion, further enhancing his innate blues and spiritual expressiveness. This track is a fine introduction to Bowie's one-of-a-kind trumpeting.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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