Keith Jarrett: Intro / Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Track

Intro / Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Artist

Keith Jarrett (piano)

CD

Yesterdays (ECM 2060)

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Musicians:

Keith Jarrett (piano), Gary Peacock (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Composed by Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach

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Recorded: Metropolitan Festival Hall, Tokyo, April 30, 2001

Albumcoverkeithjarrettyesterdays

Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

This Jerome Kern standard is probably more popular with the general public than with jazz musicians—in other words, you are more likely to hear it tinkling in the background at the cocktail lounge than at a Berklee jam session. Jarrett himself recorded it previously as part of a session, under Bob Moses's leadership, alongside the late, great tenor Jim Pepper. The pairing of Jarrett and Pepper seemed like a jazz dream date, but the music on that late-1960s date didn't tap into the full potential of the players involved. This version of Kern's warhorse, performed by Jarrett's "Standards Trio" at a concert in Tokyo, is more focused and coherent. The intro is a piece unto itself, a wistful minute-and-a-half meditation, all too brief but enough to demonstrate how deeply Mr. Jarrett immerses himself into the inner feeling-state of the music. When Peacock and DeJohnette enter, it is with gentle whispers and smoke floating past your eyes. Jarrett has achieved great things in his career, but one shouldn't minimize the importance of taking the old songs and making them fresh again. This may not be as dramatic as a piano concerto cadenza, but it's no less valuable as a lesson to the rest of us.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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