Born in Chicago in 1942, Jack De Johnette is widely regarded as one of jazz music's greatest drummers. He has collaborated with most major figures in jazz history, including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Jackie McLean, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Ron Carter, Lee Morgan, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter and Eddie Harris.
It was in 1968 that De Johnette joined Miles Davis's group in time for the epochal upheaval marked by "Bitches Brew," an album that changed the direction of jazz. In his autobiography, Miles Davis said, "Jack De Johnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over."
"Miles's music was crossing over there at that point so he was reaching a larger audience and a lot of the rock musicians were really also getting turned on to Miles, and it was a great meeting of musical cultures.
The drummer was the anchor his function laying down the groove, especially in that electric period. Laying down the groove and also embellishing the groove, Keeping a steady pulse, but, changing it, shifting it. you know Making subtle changes in it. Providing shall we say the fire, stoking the fire, putting the heat on. Putting colours on top, that's what I was doing "
Jack DeJohnette 2003