Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition: Album Album [ECM, 1984]
Like so many of the best-liked new jazz albums, this one pays heartfelt respects to the carnivalesque--if you really wanted to, you could dance to it. But you'd probably rather listen, because at the same time it's highly composed, often dividing tunes into several distinct sections, and superbly played--John Purcell and Howard Johnson damn near keep up with master saxophonist David Murray. And beneath it all, tipping the balance between rowdy and civilized, is a Manfred Eicher mix that makes the record sit more like chamber music than DeJohnette could possibly have intended. A-