Keith Jarrett Trio: My Foolish Heart (ECM 2021/22)

My Foolish Heart

Keith Jarrett Trio
My Foolish Heart

Keith Jarrett piano
Gary Peacock double-bass
Jack DeJohnette drums
Recorded July 22, 2001 at Stravinski Auditorium, Montreaux with Le Voyageur Mobile Studio
Engineer: Martin Pearson
Produced by Manfred Eicher

My Foolish Heart may just be, between Still Live and Somewhere, the missing piece of the Keith Jarrett Trio’s Triforce. Recorded live in Montreux in July of 2001, it shows the trio—both in general and this specific—in brightest light. The bounce of “Four” kicks things off with so much panache that anyone even thinking of laying fingers to keyboard might just want to crawl into a hovel and listen in awe. The tune is, of course, by Miles Davis and draws lines of history back to Jarrett’s association with the Prince of Darkness, flipping that nickname into an exercise in luminescence. The feeling of togetherness practically shouts its decades of experience from the rooftops and calls any who will listen in ecstatic gathering. Peacock almost flies off the handle from all the excitation, but reins in his enthusiasm just enough to build his first solo of the night with architectural integrity. DeJohnette, too, revs the engine a few times without losing traction.

This formula works wonders in subsequent takes on Sonny Rollins’s “Oleo” and two Fats Waller tunes (“Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose”), imbuing the stage, respectively, with flow, flourish, and ragtime charm. At once progressive and nostalgic, these fast-fingered excursions attract wonder like magnets. The emotive genius of Jarrett’s sidemen is extraordinary throughout. “The Song Is You” is another instance of revelry that unpacks entire fields’ worth of implications in single sweeps, in which DeJohnette’s skills blossom most blissfully.

“You Took Advantage Of Me,” a Rogers and Hart show tune, finds a holistic place in the Jarrett set list and obscures none of the whimsy of its absent lyrics. From the florid we move to the tough love of Thelonious Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser,” which pours a stiff drink indeed. Jarrett spins like a top, inspiring gorgeous circling from DeJohnette and a pin-cushioned solo from Peacock. It sits comfortably alongside “Five Brothers,” an earlier Gerry Mulligan tune that oozes 1950s charisma: monochromatic, debonair, and veiled by cigarette smoke. The trio ends somberly with a quietly spirited “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry.” More than any other portion of the concert, Jarrett’s infallible respect for melody comes to the fore and paints for us a picture so realistic, it might as well be a photograph, a moment in time, a memory to cherish.

Two encores further express the trio’s balance of wind and water. “On Green Dolphin Street” whisks on by with such ebullience that it hardly leaves a trace of its passing, while “Only The Lonely” tears the heart in two and mends it in just over six minutes. Yet nowhere is the telepathy of this trio so nakedly conveyed than in the title tune, which sways, full-figured and proud, with all the rustle of a willow tree. The combination of singing pianism and melodic rhythm support hides a perfect scar in its core. There’s a song to be sung here, and its name is: YOU.

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