480

Keith Jarrett: Life Between the Exit Signs

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Keith Jarrett: Life Between the Exit Signs Not long after recording '66's Buttercorn Lady with Art Blakey, and Dream Weaver , which signalled the beginning of his association with Charles Lloyd's hugely popular quartet, pianist Keith Jarrett was encouraged by Lloyd producer George Avakian to make his first recording as a leader. Jarrett's immediate popularity in Downbeat 's Readers poll for that year was instrumental in his being able to attain complete artistic freedom, a characteristic that has ultimately defined his entire career. Life Between the Exit Signs finds a nascent Jarrett wearing some of his primary influences on his sleeve—Bill Evans, Paul Bley and Ornette Coleman most notably—but, even so, many of his defining qualities as a distinctive player are already in evidence.

Beginning an association with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian that was to last for nearly ten years, Jarrett demonstrates a penchant for overt lyricism on "Margot" and "Love No. 1," a somehow distinctly American flavour on "Lisbon Stomp," and free playing on the title track and "Love No. 2," which follow the Ornette Coleman modus operandi of structured themes leading into completely open improvised sections. He even covers one standard, Cole Porter's "Everything I Love," to show his love of the Great American Songbook, a characteristic that would, of course, be brought to greater fruition with his now twenty-year old Standards Trio with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette.

Haden, having already spent a good deal of time with Coleman, brings a strong sense of adventure coupled with a clear sense of history and tradition. Motian, at that time better known for his more subdued work with Bill Evans, gets the opportunity to play in a looser setting, displaying his abilities as textural player and colourist that would gain him a greater reputation in years to come.

But as strong as Haden and Motian are as musical personalities, it is Jarrett who clearly shines on this recording. Less concerned with some of the more odd choices that he made in the mammoth '70 session that resulted in three intriguing but largely uneven recordings— The Mourning of a Star, El Juicio and Birth —this is a more straightforward session that, while perhaps less widely experimental, ultimately succeeds as a more consistent document of where Jarrett came from and who he was ultimately to become. Life Between the Exit Signs is a remarkable first outing from a pianist who has inarguably become as important as his sources, moving the tradition forward while at the same time maintaining a clear reverence for it.

This remastered version of Life Between the Exit Signs is currently only available in the UK.

Track Listing: Lisbon Stomp; Love No. 1; Love No. 2; Everything I Love; Margot; Long Time Gone (But Not Withdrawn); Life Between the Exit Signs; Church Dreams

Personnel: Keith Jarrett (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Paul Motian (drums)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Atlantic Jazz Masters | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Sooner And Later" CD/LP/Track Review Sooner And Later
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.