LP, Milestone, 1971
Recorded in Tokyo, Japan on April 7, 1970
Recorded in Tokyo with regular collaborators Gary Peacock and Benny Maupin, plus great local pianist Hideo Ichikawa, “Have You Heard?” is an especially exploratory record from master drummer Jack DeJohnette. The LP is bookended with some nocturnal modal jazz cuts that recall Mile’s Nefertiti. The opener, “Neophilia”, a languid Maupin composition, lures you in with thematic bass clarinet melodies in the right channel while the other musicians fluidly hold the atmosphere together. DeJohnette’s elegant “For Jane” closes the album, featuring sweet flute melodies from Maupin and moody Fender Rhodes overdubbed by DeJohnette.
The two 20-minute middle tracks are where things get a little strange and abstract though, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. Both feel highly connected to the spacious & open “Modern Creative” improvised music coming from the AACM in Chicago at the time, rather than the dense, cathartic free jazz coming out of New York and elsewhere. “Papa-Daddy” begins with a loose, fluid drum solo. The other instruments do eventually join in, but rather than all playing at once the musicians give each other a lot of space and play in more organic sequences. The track does pick up into some driving post-bop after the half-way point though, and culminates in a free jazz climax by the last couple of minutes. The title-cut on the other hand comes out the gate with a fluttering hummingbird swing from DeJohnette. The track seems to be bursting at the seams with activity, until it breaks down into a strangely intriguing harmonica section. DeJohnette also experiments with some guttural, wordless vocalizations that I’ve never heard from him elsewhere on record, just another reason why this is such a unique release.
Style: Post-Bop, Modal Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz
Vibe: Nocturnal, Abstract, Airy, Open, Languid, Fluid, Spiritual, Spacious, Eclectic, Exploratory
Musical Qualities: Modal, Dynamic, Collective Improvisation, Acoustic, Sparse
- Jack DeJohnette – Drums, Electric Keyboards (B2), Experimental Vocals (B1)
- Bennie Maupin – Bass Clarinet (A1), Tenor Saxophone (A2, B1), Flute (B2)
- Gary Peacock – Upright Bass
- Hideo Ichikawa – Piano