Keith Jarrett Trio: Standards Live (ECM 1317)

 

Keith Jarrett Trio
Standards Live

Keith Jarrett piano
Gary Peacock bass
Jack DeJohnette drums
Recorded July 2, 1985 at the Palais dis Congrès Studios de la Grand Armée
Engineer: Martin Wieland
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Take one look at the thoughtful cover art of this seminal Keith Jarrett release, and you’ll gain immediate insight into what makes his trio click. Each curvaceous line brings a lifetime of movement, of study, and of passion to bear on the music at hand. And with these six standards resurrected to such profound levels, there’s nothing not to like.

Just let the groove of “Falling In Love With Love” have its way, and the quicksand of the trio’s genius has you by the heart. Jarrett is in his element, crying his way through sibilant improvisatory arcs. Peacock surfaces for an engaging solo, Jarrett watching from the sidelines with duly attentive chording before sharing an intuitive stichomythia with DeJohnette. Peacock grabs the spotlight again in “The Old Country,” in which piano and drums spread a subtle launching pad for his low yet adroit flights. Jarrett builds on these, dancing on air through every motivic change before putting the starlight back into “Stella By Starlight.” Ever the sonic chameleon in a world of primary colors, he achieves the musical equivalent of alchemy once his ever-faithful rhythm section dashes in its own mysterious elements. A magnetic bass solo draws DeJohnette’s cymbals like iron filings before ending in a forgiving embrace. “Too Young To Go Steady” receives an absorbing treatment, the band whipping up a soft peak that melts smoothly into resolution. Next is a spirited version of “The Way You Look Tonight,” which unpacks oodles of bliss and shows the trio form at its finest. A whoop-worthy solo from DeJohnette forms an enlivening bridge to the vamp, playing us out into “The Wrong Blues,” which does everything oh so right.

While all the tunes on this album are classic, the untouchable performances make them doubly so.

Beyond recommended.

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