A brilliant drummer who is also a significant bandleader and a fine keyboardist, Jack DeJohnette, like the late Tony Williams, stretches the mainstream of jazz and has the ability to keep time without actually stating the beat. He was born in Chicago in 1942, studying classical piano for 10 years, starting when he was 4. DeJohnette switched to drums while in high school, playing with his school’s concert band. He worked around the Chicago area as both a drummer and a pianist in settings ranging from hard bop and R&B to the avant-garde. DeJohnette was active in Chicago’s AACM and even had an opportunity to play with John Coltrane, playing second drums with Rashied Ali in 1966. But he gained his initial fame as a member of the very popular Charles Lloyd Quartet during 1966-68. Later in 1968, DeJohnette replaced Tony Williams as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, appearing on Davis’ Bitches Brew and working with the group alongside Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea (later Keith Jarrett) and Dave Holland.
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