Rolling Stone - 8/23/903.5 Stars
- Very Good - "..is what fusion was meant to be."
Personnel: Jack DeJohnette (keyboards, drums); Herbie Hancock (piano, keyboards); Pat Metheny (keyboards, Synclavier synthesizer, acoustic & electric guitars).
Recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios, West Hurley, New York.
Personnel: Jack DeJohnette (keyboards, keyboard bass, drums, cymbals); Pat Metheny (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard bass, Synclavier); Herbie Hancock (piano, keyboards).
Audio Mixers: Jack DeJohnette; Pat Metheny; Tom Mark.
Recording information: Dreamland Recording Studios, West Hurley, NY.
Photographers: David Oakes; Jeff Katz.
Unknown Contributor Role: Pat Metheny.
This 1990 release is one of DeJohnette's finest. A trio recording, PARALLEL REALITIES showcases the talents of Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny, as well as the highly acclaimed drummer. All three of these players should require no formal introduction to jazz aficionados. However, first time listeners will be impressed by the playing ability of these three jazz icons. Tracks such as "Jack In" and "Dancing" display, strikingly, the improvisational skill of these three performers. On the latter, Hancock and Metheny solo, employing both a lyrical sensitivity, and a superlative ability to navigate their way around complex chord progressions; use of fast flourishes and melodic whispers dot their elegant performances.
Surprisingly, the lack of bass does not affect the feel of the music. DeJohnette plays keyboard bass to add bottom, as it were, to the sound. He also layers additional keyboards adding texture and timbral variety to the music. Along different lines, DeJohnette's drumming is less active than usual. However, he never comes across bland or restrained, simply naturally relaxed and introspective. Sometimes understated, sometimes forthright, this album is as intriguing as it is virtuosic.