Keith Jarrett evidently has carte blanche to do anything he wants at Manfred Eicher's ECM label – and thus encouraged, he takes ample risks in a field that is swamped with able and formidable competitors.
Reissue. Comes with new liner notes. This was the first real indication to the world that Keith Jarrett was an ambitious, multi-talented threat to be reckoned with, an explosion of polystylistic music that sprawled over two LPs (now squeezed onto a single CD). Using his classic quartet (Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian) as a base, Jarrett occasionally adds the biting rock-edged electric guitar of Sam Brown and always-intriguing percussionist Airto Moreira, and indulges in some pleasant string and brass arrangements of his own, along with some grinding organ smears and acceptable soprano sax.
This odd anthology from Atlantic reissues selections from trio dates recorded during the 1960s by Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock, along with otherwise unobtainable early recordings by McCoy Tyner. Jarrett is joined by Charlie Haden and Paul Motian on two originals, both of which show the obvious influence of Bill Evans. Chick Corea is accompanied by Steve Swallow (on acoustic bass rather than the electric bass he switched to a short time later) and Joe Chambers. The pianist's "Tones for Joan's Bones" is swinging, but not nearly as driving as his works in the decades to follow, while his reworking of the show tune "This Is New" features Joe Farrell and Woody Shaw; both tracks also show the influence of Bill Evans.
Here is another LP helping from the Keith Jarrett "American" Quartet's last recording session – one that is almost as consistent in quality as its predecessor. The happy-go-lucky groove of the title track perfectly expresses its name, with Jarrett blithely singing along; both Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden get plenty of solo space on Redman's "Gotta Get Some Sleep" and Haden's "Pocket Full of Cherry" (a pun referring to Haden cohort Don Cherry); and Paul Motian remains a marvelously flexible drummer. Moreover, there is another fascinating swatch of Middle Eastern experimentation on "Pyramids Moving."
There's a nicely warming vibe on this album from Keith Jarrett – a sound that's sometimes a bit more laidback and personal, but which is still carried off with familiar associates Dewey Redman on tenor, Charlie Haden on bass, and Paul Motian on drums! Most of the tunes are shorter compositions built around gently lyrical lines – somewhat introspective, and a bit less organic than in years past – but in a way that more than makes up for that difference with their own inner beauty. Titles include "Konya", "Rainbow", "Trieste", "Fantasm", "Yahllah", and "Byablue".
A lost gem from Keith's "with horns" period – a quintet session from the mid 70s, recorded with a group that features Dewey Redman on tenor, plus Charlie Haden on bass, Paul Motian on drums and percussion, and Guilherme Franco on additional percussion. The feel is a bit straighter than Jarrett's excellent Death & The Flower set – as the tunes have a highly rhythmic component, and make good use of the extra percussion to create a flowing, organic groove. There's still a nice loose feel overall, though – almost a take on the loft jazz sound, especially at the moments when Jarrett goes a bit outside on piano. Titles include "Shades Of Jazz", "Southern Smiles", "Rose Petals", and "Diatribe".