Keith Jarrett (with Jim Pepper): Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


Keith Jarrett (piano)


Foundations: The Keith Jarrett Anthology (Rhino R2-71593)

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Keith Jarrett (piano), Jim Pepper (tenor sax), Bob Moses (drums), Steve Swallow (bass).

Composed by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach


Recorded: New York, 1967-68


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

The pairing of pianist Jarrett with the tragically under-recorded tenor saxophonist Jim Pepper seems like a dream match-up. During the 1960s and 1970s, before the Standards Trio became his preferred combo setting, Jarrett enjoyed being challenged by on-the-edge saxophonists, and few reed players of the era had more raw energy than Pepper. But somehow this band doesn't click. Perhaps a couple more takes in the studio would have solved everything -- certainly the individual talents are considerable. Maybe the choice of this 1933 ballad was also a factor: a young player might be tempted to pick a fight with the sentimentality that is built into the chord changes and melody. Whatever the cause, the music doesn't live up to the expectations generated by the names on the marquee. Yet we are fortunate to have this track at all. It comes from an unreleased album under Bob Moses's leadership, and only saw light of day in a Keith Jarrett anthology decades after the fact.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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