ShareThis Page
Review: Glover, DeJohnette provide fresh look at rhythm at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild |
More A&E

Review: Glover, DeJohnette provide fresh look at rhythm at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild

Bob Karlovits
| Friday, February 26, 2016 10:21 p.m

Jazz followed the beat of a different dancer Friday evening at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on the North Side.

Oh, and a drummer had a great deal to do with it.

Dancer/choreographer Savion Glover and drummer Jack DeJohnette were at the heart of one of the freshest, most original jazz concerts here in decades.

It was a look, simply, at rhythm. But being done by Glover and DeJohnette, it was an examination at the doctoral level.

It is easy to understand. Glover is the man who created “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk”, did the animation motion capture for the film “Happy Feet” and, right now, is working on a new Broadway production, “Shuffle Along,” with Pittsburgh native Billy Porter.

Drummer DeJohnette was on the seminal “Bitches Brew” album, is the stick-man in the Keith Jarrett Trio and tours in various-shaped bands of his own.

Talents at this level know what they are doing.

The concert took three, basically equal stages: a 25-minute solo dance exhibition by Glover, a performance by the DeJohnette trio, and a duet by the dancer and the drummer.

Although it was overwhelmed by the dance work, the trio performed two edgy tunes that put it at the same creative level as the rhythm mongers. Doing DeJohnette’s “Blue” and keyboardist George Colligan’s “Song for the Tarahumera,” it was lively and fresh, backed up by Jerome Harris on electric bass.

Colligan offered good, aggressive play on his tune and played moody, pocket trumpet on the drummer’s number.

But the dancing — and drumming — was the most stunning work of the night.

In his solo section, Glover wandered on stage, carrying a water bottle that he laid on a music stand. Then, casually looking at his feet, he seemed be wondering why they were behaving that way.

His form of tap also includes heavy heel that almost are like a pedal subwoofer, creating deep bass sounds. He also gets forceful sounds from his flat-footed stomps.

In his solo spot, he did spins where one foot became a pivot while the other beat out steps. He created sounds that ranged from military drumming to one section that seemed like a horse that was trotting in a groove.

At one point, his left foot rapped out a pattern while he scraped a smoother line with his right.

While his solo show drew a standing ovation, the duet was DeJohnette was even more spectacular. It opened with a simple exchange of rhythmic ideas. But that call-and-response got more complicated as it went along.

Ultimately, DeJohnette started accompanying Glover, but it wasn’t he simply following the dancer. They played off each other so well, they seemed to be predicting each other’s thoughts.

There were times when Glover seemed to know exactly where the drummer was headed simply by watching his hands; similarly , DeJohnette could predict an explosion from the dancer by studying his feet.

This is the freshness that keeps jazz alive.

Bob Karlovits is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

Categories: More A and E
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.