Keith Jarrett Trio: Yesterdays (ECM 2060)

Yesterdays

Keith Jarrett Trio
Yesterdays

Keith Jarrett piano
Gary Peacock double-bass
Jack DeJohnette drums
Recorded April 30, 2001 at Metropolitan Festival Hall, Tokyo
Engineer: Yoshihiro Suzuki
Produced by Manfred Eicher and Keith Jarrett

Yesterdays follows Always Let Me Go, The Out-of-Towners, and My Foolish Heart (link to all) as the fourth and final ECM album recorded during Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette’s inaugural tour of the new millennium. Like beads on a necklace, these albums guide a singular thread, a development of attitude and polish, which colors the music of this enduring trio. Pianist, bassist, and drummer respectively buff another set of standards to a sheen of crystalline ebullience.

Horace Silver’s “Strollin’” blossoms with free-blowing fragrance, carrying its symbolic weight in gold down pathways toward reminisced-about times and places. Although Jarrett’s wings may be almost as fast as a hummingbird’s, they are living proof of mind over matter, if not mind as matter, doing more than putting feet to ground as the title would imply. Peacock likewise enamors the scene with an emotional rather than physical leap in his solo. “You Took Advantage Of Me” returns from its appearance on My Foolish Heart with even greater sanctity, while the title track, tender as tender can be, holds its heart in its pocket so that it may never forget where it came from. Peacock builds a fluid, chromatic ladder in his duly heartfelt solo before an enchanting finish from the keys. “Shaw’nuff,” a Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie joint, launches into its vamp with the resolve of a high diver. There is fantastic, sparkling energy here that bears out in a concise and to-the-point narrative style. The forlorn ballad “You’ve Changed” works its craft in subtlest ways. Originally a song of needing to move on but not knowing how, here it cups a more hopeful carnation in its hands. Peacock does wonders with this tune, as does Jarrett in the afterglow. Parker’s “Scrapple From The Apple” makes a welcome cameo in the trio’s set list after a debut appearance on up for it and elicits pure trio magic. Harold Arlen’s “A Sleepin’ Bee” is a steady, mid-tempo tune that adds a dose of whimsy to this Tokyo performance. Peacock and DeJohnette sit deep in the pocket, adding copious amounts of fibrillating swing. “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” is another soft tune which glows like an ember in memory of a doused fire, of the feeling of togetherness that once convened around it. After these blue notes, the upbeat take on “Stella By Starlight” (recorded during soundcheck) that ends the album pours fresh sunshine onto the scene, inspires some fine drumming, and puts Jarrett in a restrained yet joyful mode, ending smoothly and unexpectedly on a whim.

Track for track, a solid outing, with soft spots in all the right places.

(To hear samples of Yesterdays, click here.)

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