426

Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette: Setting Standards: New York Sessions

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette: Setting Standards: New York Sessions The surprise for the folks who haven't followed the quarter century span of Keith Jarrett's Standard Trio—those who jumped onboard with, say, Live at the Blue Note (ECM, 1995), or Up For It (ECM, 2003)—will be just how good these guys were right from the very start. Things just seemed to click into place on their first trip to the studio in 1983, when Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette went into Power Station in New York to record an album.

To Jarrett's fans at the time, this must have seemed an oddly backward-looking decision—to record an album of standards, familiar tunes from the Great American Songbook. Mention the idea of a piano trio—especially with these three artists, who had all engaged themselves in adventurous outings—playing "The Meaning of the Blues," "God Bless the Child," "It Never Entered My Mind," "If I Should Lose You," and the tag "retro" (meant not in a complimentary manner) can come up.

But a good melody never goes out of style; and when the musicians can inject some energy and inspiration into the familiar, magic can happen, as it did at Power Station that day in 1983, when enough material for three albums was laid down. Setting Standards: New York Sessions collects those three individually released albums—Standards, Volume 1; Standards, Volume 2 and Changes in one three-disc box set.

Like no other group except the trios of Bill Evans, Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette's approach is one that transcends the standards that they play. They get inside melodies then take them somewhere else with a rare gusto, on improvisational forays that remain threaded to the spirits of the originals.

The first two discs are the templates for much that the group has recorded in the subsequent quarter century. They have, of course, evolved. It is a wondrous progression from the relatively reverent "It Never Entered My Mind," on Standards, Volume 1, to the near-religious ecstasy of the very extended "Autumn Leaves" from Live at the Blue Note, Set 1 and the slightly (but beautifully) warped, Zen-like reading of "My Foolish Heart" from the 2007 ECM set of the same name. That said, had this trio never recorded another album together, the three albums contained in Setting Standards would still be considered classics.

The box set's third disc, Changes, departs from the standards format, with three extended Jarrett compositions that take the group into improvisational territory that has much in common with Jarrett's fabled solo piano recordings.

Setting Standards, the box set that contains the music made at the birth of the Standards Trio, is handsomely packaged, and includes a booklet with session photos and informative liner notes by Peter Ruedi. Put this one on the "Reissue of the Year" list.


Track Listing: CD1 (Standards, Vol. 1): Meaning Of The Blues; All The Things You Are; It Never Entered My Mind; The Masquerade Is Over. CD2 ( Standards, Vol. 2): So Tender; Moon And Sand; In Love In Vain; Never Let Me Go; If I Should Lose You; I Fall In Love Too Easily. CD3 (Changes): Flying Part 1; Flying Part 2; Prism.

Personnel: Keith Jarrett: piano; Gary Peacock: double-bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Better Left Unsung" CD/LP/Track Review Better Left Unsung
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by John Sharpe
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Follow Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!