Keith Jarrett: Eyes Of The Heart (ECM 1150)

Keith Jarrett
Eyes Of The Heart

Keith Jarrett piano, soprano saxophone, osi drums, tambourine
Dewey Redman tenor saxophone, tambourine, maracas
Charlie Haden bass
Paul Motian drums, percussion
Recorded May 1976, Theater am Kornmarkt, Bregenz (Austria)
Engineer: Martin Wieland
Produced by Manfred Eicher

With Eyes Of The Heart, musician’s musician Keith Jarrett landed one of his last American Quartet flights. This live performance, recorded just one month after The Survivors’ Suite, is a journey of different stripes. Jarrett whoops with delight as he opens Part One amid a congregation of drums. The kalimba-like bass of Charlie Haden hops from one foot to another as Jarrett looses a soprano sax into the prevailing winds. Only later does the expected piano shine through his fingertips. Writ somehow large with modest articulations, his right hand brings gradual insistence until the melody and the moment become one, each frame sped into a moving image. Part Two begins with more lovely pianism, this time with grittier chording and the added sheen of Paul Motian’s kit work. An insistent vamp unravels Dewey Redman’s dazzling tenor, and cushions the applause that follow. The tripartite encore is an uplifting, jaunty exposition. Some fantastic drumming and elegant exchanges between soprano and tenor dim themselves silent before the altar of Jarrett’s concluding piano solo.

Just when I think I’ve encountered the extent of Jarrett’s immeasurable talents, he surprises me with an album like this. It’s always a pleasure to hear his peripheral instrumental work, for his talents at the keyboard transfer effortlessly to reed by way of our grateful hearts. Perhaps the title is more than just a metaphor.

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