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Special Edition

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Special Edition
Special Edition


As the virtuoso drummer Jack DeJohnette celebrates his 70th birthday (he was born in Chicago in 1942), ECM releases a box set documenting his early 1980s group, Special Edition. With a revolving membership and an incredible cast of soloists including David Murray, Arthur Blythe and Chico Freeman, the band was one of the most sophisticated vehicles for Jack DeJohnette's all-around talents. This set brings together their ECM albums Special Edition, Tin Can Alley, Inflation Blues and Album Album, underscoring the excitement of invention and possibility one can hear in this era of DeJohnette's career.

The recordings reveal him as an artist in touch with tradition even as he sought the cutting edge of the day, paying homage to his jazz heroes yet experimenting with new sounds. There are echoes of old New Orleans grooves and Swing-era big bands in this collection, as well as material crafted with the techniques of '80s pop singles; there are ambitious suite-like compositions, and there is spontaneously lowdown rhythm & blues.

"This is jazz that's simultaneously inside and outside, that looks back fondly and ahead intrepidly; it is indeed multidirectional music making," comments Bradley Bambarger in an insightful essay in the booklet. Recorded between 1979 and 1984, it has been re-mastered from the original tapes for this four-CD box in ECM's Old & New Masters series.

Personnel: Jack DeJohnette (drums, piano, organ, congas, timpani, melodica, vocals), David Murray (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet), Arthur Blythe (alto saxophone), Chico Freeman (tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet), John Purcell (alto and baritone saxophones, flutes, alto clarinet), Rufus Reid (bass, electric bass), Peter Warren (double bass, cello), Chico Freeman (bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones), Baikida Carroll (trumpet)


  1. Name
  2. One For Eric
  3. Zoot Suite
  4. Central Park West
  5. India
  6. Journey To The Twin Planet
  7. Tin Can Alley
  8. Pastel Rhapsody
  9. Riff Raff
  10. The Gri Gri Man
  11. I Know
  12. Starburst
  13. Ebony
  14. The Islands
  15. Inflation Blues
  16. Slowdown
  17. Ahmad The Terrible
  18. Monk's Mood
  19. Festival
  20. New Orleans Strut
  21. Third World Anthem
  22. Zoot Suite
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