Listen to Two Compositions From Jack DeJohnette's New Solo Piano LP

The new subscription-based vinyl-only label Newvelle Records has given permission to post this video with audio sourced from "Return" Jack DeJohnette's first solo piano record and the label's latest release.

We've chosen two songs from the all original material: "Ebony" and "Silver Hollow"—reinterpretations of compositions he's recorded previously ("Ebony" on 1980's "Special Edition" and "Silver Hollow" on 1978's "New Directions") but of course, not with him on piano. For more info visit and of course there will be a review shortly on

Signal chain: Lyra Etna SL, Swedish Analog Technologies Tone Arm, Ypsilon MC-16L step-up transformer, VPS-100 (silver edition) Phono Preamplifier, darTzeel NHB18NS (new version) preamplifier, Lynx Hilo A/D converter.

dhyman's picture

if it's jack solo piano, and jack plays drums and there's no drummer, who's playing the piano/

Michael Fremer's picture
Jack plays the piano. It's Jack solo piano record. He was a pianist before becoming a drummer.
AnalogJ's picture

Wow. That guy is talented!!

Jim Tavegia's picture

Can I ask what audio format are we listening to? One of the most real piano recordings I've heard.

Michael Fremer's picture
All of the gear mentioned above digitized at 96/24 and then put through YouTube's digital meat grinder. Nonetheless you can hear the quality of the front end especially the Swedish Analog Technologies arm. Of course I think my set up skills are pretty good too! I was up very late last night spinning records and I was amazed by what this rig was doing...also involved: a new darTZeel preamp that is way improved in terms of transparency compared to the previous one, and the AudioQuest Niagara 7000 power conditioner into which everything is plugged. Also TARA Labs Evolution all adds up to the best sound by far that I've had here.....and some of it comes through on the Internets!
Jim Tavegia's picture

Remarkable recording. This would be another great LP for a phono stage or cartridge shoot-out. Hint Hint. Love to hear this as full 2496 wav download and find out if my ears can still discern it.

Rayman's picture

Beautiful compositions and playing.

This guy is special

rshak47's picture

for the past couple of weeks. The music is sublime, and I don't think I own a better sounding piano recording.

jwil's picture

Even if it's compressed. I really liked the second track!

Hosta3's picture

Quite the cost to join this vinyl subscription! Is the first release as good as the DeJohnette' record?

rich d's picture

...for bringing new music to our attention. I must point out, though, that this isn't Jack's first solo piano record. The first one came out about 30 years ago. I seem to recall it was quite good.

Michael Fremer's picture
That was a synthesizer record
rich d's picture

rather than relying on the aging noggin. A quick interweb search reveals that the cleverly-titled Jack DeJohnette Piano Album features the man in a variety of settings including piano and synth, along with various accompanists. So we're both kinda correct but as it isn't a solo piano record, I must utter those three little words everyone loves to hear: you were right.

ashandger's picture

Sounds absolutely fantastic...even through YouTube. Will you be doing a follow up review of the new version of your Dartzeel preamp? Any other thoughts you can share about it at present?

ashandger's picture

Sounds absolutely fantastic...even through YouTube. Will you be doing a follow up review of the new version of your Dartzeel preamp? Any other thoughts you can share about it at present?

kronning's picture

even on my 5 year old iPad and earbuds. Time for me to order the vinyl. Thanks.

longlivethequeen's picture

Even sounds awesome on my crappy Logitech computer speaker system. Hey, could you record some Rory Gallagher on this system and send it down this way. I've got a hankerin to hear his slide work in hi-fi. Kidding.

theboogeydown's picture

Just checking. Wasn't sure what the collective determination was.

rshak47's picture

same as the first release by NewVelle.

theboogeydown's picture

and by colored, I meant not black.'s picture

it's only available via subscription model.

Superfuzz's picture

That is too bad. Although I might try the subscription, if the records weren't ~66 a piece.

If a listener were to just discover this wonderful Jack DeJohnette recording and wanted to buy it, they'd have to subscribe to this wacky business model (quoted from the Newvelle website):

"If a member joins after Jack's record is shipped, they pay $400 upfront and get Jack's and Frank's sent immediately and the rest as they come out."

So for $400 you get the 2 already released albums, and the remaining four as they get released.

RubenH's picture

OK, I think I understand the rationale for the subscription business model, but here's one con: I was not familiar with this artist until I saw Michael's post (which, even through an HP laptop sounds sublime, sonically and musically). So if there's no way to purchase this one album standalone (say for the customary $30), then the artist/label are basically leaving money on the table. Perhaps the subscription model offsets this; perhaps not.

mauidj's picture

I'm a huge fan of Jack DeJohnette but I refuse to be blackmailed into buying stuff I don't want or need. This is a strange way to sell music and I find it rather disappointing. It smacks of elitism too at those prices. I love this hobby for the music...not some investing/collecting BS!

elanmehler's picture

We’re definitely not trying to blackmail anyone into buying anything and we’re 100% committed to the music. We’re trying out at a new model that supports the recording of new music on vinyl. The musician retains ownership of the digital master and they give us a two year window where we’re exclusive on vinyl. After that time the musician can release the music anywhere they like, we don’t keep any residual ownership at all.

Our bet is that we can find a community that supports this model and is willing to pay more to hear this music presented in the best possible format while its still exclusively on vinyl. None of these musicians are currently releasing on vinyl and certainly not recording and mastering for the medium exclusively. I know we have some work to do to prove the quality of what we are building here, but the model is attracting some of the best musicians in the world and some of my personal heroes. We are very proud of what we’ve released so far and what we have in the can going forward. Next up is a record by Noah Preminger with Ben Monder, John Patitucci and Billy Hart. With mastering by Alex DeTurk, the test pressings really sound like something special.

We came up with this model from a musicians perspective, and if nothing else, I think we need as many ideas and concepts and new models out there as possible as the recording industry completely remodels itself.

--Elan Mehler, Newvelle Records

cundare's picture


This is clearly a beautiful and important performance from a brilliant musician and, even through my desktop speakers, I can hear the stunning quality of the recording. I love your business model, and, at my late stage of life, $400 is not an insurmountable expense, so I was about to link to your site & subscribe.

Then I saw that the record was pressed on clear vinyl. Can I be the only person who owns a turntable that cannot play see-through records? My table uses optical sensors to determine the presence & size of a record and if I try to play a clear disk, it thinks that nothing is cued up. So, sadly, your products may be denied to me. And with Patitucci on the way!

Why not just use black vinyl like the rest of the world?

Donnie Downer

Bob Levin's picture

The pic seems to show a small bird perched on the 'head-shell-less' tonearm.
Is this Mr. Van Den Hul's new Flintstones inspired cartridge?

vinylrules's picture

Even through YouTube. Holy smokes! Thanks for sharing Mikey!

pjc's picture

While Jack did add synthesizer on three tracks, his previous 1985 album on Landmark Records was piano (Steinway B) with Eddie Gomez and Freddie Waits. It still shows up occasionally in the used bins.

jjaayyzz's picture

Don't really want to turn this into an Analog vs Digital argument but Jack should consider releasing the master on HDTracks - that is the first point.

Second point is - it is clear from most of the feedback, that people are finding this re-recorded & 'youtube encoded' version sounds quite good. That itself shows that part of the magic here is in the performance itself and how well it was captured. Particularly with Faziolli and Steinway Pianos, their rich overtones make it impressive and it is absolutely essential that particularly Solo piano should be recorded with the goal of capturing the immediacy and resolution of the instrument. Instead, many of the solo recording are done in a more classical environment and in a reverberant setting placed ta distant to the recording mic and resulting in very little immediacy - I just don't get it. It a complete waste to do such recordings in a way that it does not capture all the wonderful detail that this grand instrument has to offer.

Neverenough's picture

I love that they show a Technics rig with what looks to be a Stanton cartridge missing the dust brush. Memories...

Vegemite's picture

I don't see the point. Using short signal paths, vintage equipment, but then running it into a digital recorder ruins it all. Sure, the mix isn't summed in the box, but the damage has already been done.
If you are going to the trouble of making a better sounding analog disc, then do it right and run straight into the lathe, like in the old days when an analog direct-to-disc was to die for. This -- might as well be released as a digital file which would sound better on most audiophile's systems anyway; who has the extra $30K+ for a turntable/cartridge that actually sounds better than most $1500 CD front ends.
Recording a single instrument, using the right equipment and less of it, is laudable, but it simply doesn't go far enough. There are so many superb custom analog tape machines that eat the Pro Tools/converter stack for lunch if you really need to have an intermediary and permanent master...and it sounds better by miles than any commercial DAW by miles - and you can always go to digital anytime. $425 for 6 LPs isn't bad given the offering, but I would pay far more it it was done as I've requested. Much more.

Brayden Bury's picture
Ewan Pearce's picture

This Piano is really affordable and nice.