with Keith Jarrett


Jasmine (ECM/2010)
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Jasmine marks Keith Jarrett’s first recorded collaboration in decades other than with his standards trio, and reunites him with the great bassist Charlie Haden, a close partner until the mid-seventies. These deeply felt performances should inspire any listener “to call your wife or husband or lover in late at night,” as Jarrett says in his liner notes, “These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact.” The program on Jasmine includes such classic songs as “Body and Soul”, “For All We Know” , “Where Can I Go Without You”, “Don’t Ever Leave Me” as well as a rare Jarrett cover of a contemporary pop song, “One Day I’ll Fly Away”. Jarrett and Haden play the music and nothing but the music – as only they can. As Keith Jarrett says in his liner notes: “This is spontaneous music made on the spot without any preparation save our dedication throughout our lives that we won’t accept a substitute… These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact.” (Amazon.com)

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Eyes of the Heart (ECM/1979)
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Recorded at a concert only a month after recording the epic Survivors’ Suite, this is a curious blend between parts of that album and the repetitive elements of Jarrett’s solo piano recordings. (Amazon.com)


The Survivors Suite (ECM/1977)
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This 1977 date, featuring the lineup of Jarrett and tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian, also highlighted Jarrett’s soprano saxophone, celeste, bass recorder, and percussion across the span of two lengthy 20-plus-minute segments of the “Survivors’ Suite.” Slow developments intensify the music’s length, both harmonic and melodic, as it builds toward cresting and busting points and recedes again into remarkably sensitive, quiet solos and duos between the group’s players. Haden and Jarrett (on Celeste) play a stellar duet to usher in the closing movement from the first segment, and, as always, Redman plays with a biting intensity and a Texas-blues yearning that’s as wide and long as the Lone Star state. (Amazon.com)


Byablue (Impulse!/1977)
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Keith Jarrett’s “American” Quartet met for one last marathon recording date before disbanding, and Impulse made the most of it by spreading the music out over two separate releases. From the evidence of this, the first and slightly superior LP, the band certainly doesn’t sound as if it was ready to break up; the interplay has become telepathic, the musical ideas are still fresh and there is a willingness to experiment. “Rainbow,” credited to Margot Jarrett, is top-flight lyrical Keith, while “Trieste” evokes the mood and some of the language of spiritual Coltrane. There is adventure, too; with Dewey Redman and Jarrett wailing on tenor and soprano respectively, “Konya” sounds almost like a muezzin call to prayer, and “Yahllah” is a rare, brave, moving merger of jazz and the Middle East. Highly recommended on LP, since the Middle Eastern tracks were deleted from the CD reissue. (AllMusic.com)


Bop-Be (Impulse!/1977)
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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.” (AllMusic.com)


Keith Jarrett – El Juicio-The Judgement (Atlantic/1976)
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El Juicio is an excellent early Jarrett album and finds him in typically eclectic form with his classic American quartet. I nominate the opener, “Gypsy Moth,” as the best piece on the record. Sounding a little like a more confident version of “Lisbon Stomp,” from Jarrett’s 1967 debut album Life Between the Exit Signs, Jarrett first whips up a rollicking theme on the piano and then switches to soprano sax towards the end, the rhythm section swinging hard throughout. “Toll Road” is more abstract, but the collapsing cymbal pattern paired with Charlie Hayden’s pummeling bass lines creates an intriguing canvass for Jarrrett and Redman’s sax improvisations. “Pre-Judgement Atmosphere” is a short percussion piece that manages to incorporate a steel drum into the mix. The title track is an ecstatic ten-minute free-improv wherein Jarrett pounds out and wails away. Melodic fragments are continually spun out and just as quickly squashed, and the whole band burns with a smoldering energy. “Piece for Ornette (Long Version)” is a tribute to the free jazz pioneer (and significant influence) Ornette Coleman. It’s good; Redman really shines on it, though. Jarrett has a sense of humor about it, as the following track is the twelve-second “Piece for Ornette (Short Version). “Pardon My Rags” is a short tribute to ragtime-era piano. (Ground and Sky)


Keith Jarrett – Arbour Zena (ECM/1975)
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With saxophonist Jan Garbarek and bassist Charlie Haden along for the ride, Keith Jarrett indulges in three slow, rambling, meditative, vaguely neo-classical concertos for piano and string orchestra. While a few of Jarrett’s and Garbarek’s passages here and there have a syncopated jazz feeling, this is mostly contemporary classical music, perhaps even somewhat ahead of its time (it might fit in with the neo-romantic and minimalist camps today). (AllMusic.com)


Keith Jarrett – Shades (Impulse!/1975)
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Pianist Keith Jarrett’s mid-’70s quintet was the strongest regular group that he ever led and all of its recordings (even some that ramble a bit) are worth picking up. Thanks to its strong start, Shades is one of this unit’s most rewarding recordings. Shades of Jazz has a memorable melody and logical (if unpredictable) improvisations by Jarrett and tenor-saxophonist Dewey Redman. The momentum slows down a bit with the gospellish “Southern Smiles” and “Rose Petals” but picks up again with the final number, the rather intense “Diatribe,” an excellent vehicle for this classic group. Throughout, bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Paul Motian and percussionist Guilherme Franco keep the band’s juices flowing. (AllMusic.com)


Death and The Flowerl (ABC Impulse!/1974)
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Keith Jarrett’s Death and the Flower is a beautiful work of art that slowly develops over time. It is only three tracks with the best being the 22 minute title track. The songs start out slow and peacefully build as time passes. This is not an album you can put on for a quick fix, but one that takes time to develop. This is a perfect album for a relaxing sunday morning. The use of the percussion on this album is extremely intriguing. It gives the album a very “organic” feel to it. I have to recommend this album to people who are looking for something that is beautiful, peaceful, and intriguing. Keith Jarrett is accompanied by Dewey Redman on saxophone, Charlie Haden on bass, Paul Motian on drums, and Guilherme Franco on percussion.


Treasure Island (Impulse!/1974)
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Treasure Island, released in early 1974, was the second of two albums pianist and composer Keith Jarrett recorded for Impulse Records — the first was Fort Yawuh, issued a year earlier. Cut at Generation Sound Studios in New York City, the band consisted of Jarrett on piano and soprano saxophone, Dewey Redman on tenor, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian. And though he would more than likely disagree, this was the best band he ever led. I n addition to the quartet, guitarist Sam Brown contributes to a pair of cuts here as Guilherme Franco and Danny Johnson add percussion to the mix. This is a terrific sendoff to a very fertile, creative period and begs the question as to what else may have happened had this band been able to explore their unique, fully communal sound together for more than a pair of albums. (AllMusic.com)


Fort Yawuh (Impulse!/1973)
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On Fort Yawuh, Keith Jarrett is joined by Dewey Redman (tenor sax), Charlie Haden (bass), Paul Motian (drums), and Danny Johnson (percussion) to produce this set recorded live at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City on February 24, 1973. (AllMusic.com)

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Keith Jarrett – Mourning of a Star (Wounded Bird/1971)
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This album gives one an interesting look at the early Keith Jarrett, who was already performing on an album of the Charles Lloyd Quartet and Miles Davis’ early fusion band. He had not yet fully developed his style, but he was clearly on his way. These trio performances (with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian) are impressive for the period, but the best was yet to come. (AllMusic.com)


Keith Jarrett – Birth (Wounded Bird/1971)
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Pianist Keith Jarrett’s sessions of July 1971 resulted in three LPs and the birth of his finest group: a quartet (and sometimes quintet) with tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian. This particular album has some eccentric moments, with Jarrett switching to soprano on the effective “Mortgage on My Soul” and making appearances on steel drum, recorder, and banjo (in addition to piano) on two adventurous pieces. Redman is featured on Chinese musette during “Spirit” (which has Haden on conga and steel drums) and also plays some clarinet in addition to his usual tenor. One can easily see the potential that would soon be realized by this intriguing ensemble. (AllMusic.com)


Expectations (Columbia/1971)
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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. 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. Jarrett again turns his early rampant eclecticism loose — from earthy gospel-tinged soul-jazz to the freewheeling atonal avant-garde — yet this time he does it with an exuberance and expansiveness that puts his previous solo work in the shade. (AllMusic.com)


Somewhere Before (Vortex/1968)
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While still a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet, Keith Jarrett did some occasional moonlighting with a trio, anchored by two future members of Jarrett’s classic quartet, Charlie Haden (bass) and Paul Motian (drums). On this CD, Jarrett turns in a very eclectic set at Shelly’s Manne-Hole in Hollywood, careening through a variety of idioms where his emerging individuality comes through in flashes. He covers Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages” — which actually came out as a single on the Vortex label — in an attractive, semi-funky style reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi. “Pretty Ballad” delivers a strong reflective dose of Bill Evans, while “Moving Soon” is chaotic free jazz. By the time we reach “New Rag,” we begin to hear the distinctive Jarrett idiom of the later trios, but then, “Old Rag” is knockabout stride without the stride. As an example of early, unfocused Jarrett, this is fascinating material. (AllMusic.com)


Life Between The Exit Signs (Atlantic/1967)
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Life Between the Exit Signs was recorded on May 4, 1967 at Atlantic Recording studios, New York City. It was released April 1, 1968, under the record label Vortex, a subsidiary label of Atlantic Records. It is a collaboration of esteemed pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Charlie Haden and established drummer Paul Motian. Although this was his debut leading album, Keith Jarrett’s playing had a profound effect upon the world of jazz. His unique playing style, first truly exhibited here, was to make him one of the most famous jazz pianists of all time, influencing much of the experimental jazz of the 80s and 90s. It was also the beginning of a long lasting relationship with Paul Motian. The tracks on the album are heavily inluenced by Ornette Coleman and Bill Evans, Jarrett having long been an admirer of both; and Haden having played with Coleman and Motian having played with Evans.