Artist: Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison
Album: In Movement
Release Date: 05/06/2016
“Alabama,” John Coltrane’s life-affirming interpretation of the 1963 Baptist Church bombings, opens this history deep recording with burning incandescence. Ravi’s (John and Alice Coltrane’s son) tenor wails and soars in triumphant redemption over Matthew Garrison’s (Trane’s bassist Jimmy Garrison’s offspring) undulating fuzz bass and electronic broodings. The elder DeJohnette, as he has with countless giants (Coltrane, Davis, Evans, Crispell, Jarrett) delineates the shifting sands and passage of time with haunting cymbal and percussive colorings. The lasting effect is a telling indictment of how far America hasn’t really evolved.
But backwards isn’t in this trio’s vocabulary as the lengthy, trio composed title track – a hypnotic masterpiece wherein each player is in consort not only with their own creative tides but meld as an intuitive, telepathic whole – and Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Serpentine Fire” become distinct, yet truly moving, harmonic sculptures. Garrison’s assured, textured use of pedals, synths and loops simultaneously grounds, yet liberates DeJohnette’s tender thunder and the younger Coltrane’s surges on tenor and soprano sax and, for the first time, the sopranino, cascading with DeJohnette on the turbulent “Rashied.”
Though he’s carved his name into the feverish telling of 20th & 21st century music by creating shimmering atmospheres and elastic grooves with his kit, DeJohnette’s first instrument was piano, and he returns to it here on the elegant “Lydia” (an older composition from his own piano trio days) and the stately closer “Soulful Ballad.” It is on these two tracks and the re-imagined Miles Davis/Bill Evans vintage comp “Blue and Green” that the trio’s many rhythmic subtleties come into play, making In Movement a deep listening treasure.
– Mike Jurkovic