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Jack DeJohnette & John Hollenbeck: A Tale of Two Drummers

Russ Davis of MOJA Radio blogs about the two innovative drummers and bandleaders

John Hollenbeck and Russ Davis of MOJA Radio
Jack DeJohnette with Russ Davis of MOJA Radio
Jack DeJohnette
Claudia Quintet, John Hollenbeck center

There are many good reasons to be happy about calling New York City your base of operations if one is a jazz fan, advocate, musician, professional, etc. One of the main reasons has got to be the close proximity to so many inviting venues to take in performances by the greats of jazz and those striving to achieve jazz greatness most any night. As I’ve said many times…New York can’t really stage a “Jazz Festival” because every single day is a jazz festival in this city. If you include the tri-state area you have an even bigger festival but that’s another story.

The story I want to tell now is that of two of the finest practitioners of jazz currently at work who are primarily known as “drummers,” the legendary Jack DeJohnette, and the rising legend that is the career of John Hollenbeck. I just happened to see these two leading their bands recently a few days apart at two famous venues that happen to be walking distance from one another in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. I witnessed The Jack DeJohnette Group at The Blue Note and followed that with John Hollenbeck leading his Claudia Quintet at The Cornelia Street Café. The gentlemen were kind enough to grant me some time for conversation in conjunction with the performances, Jack backstage at the Blue Note and John at my home/studio/office on 16th Street in Manhattan.

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