Keith Jarrett: Strollin'
Keith Jarrett (piano)
Yesterdays (ECM 2060)
Composed by Horace Silver.
Recorded: Metropolitan Festival Hall, Tokyo, April 30, 2001
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
Here's an odd turn of events. Back in his youth, Keith Jarrett was a member of Jazz Messengers, and he completely deconstructed its repertoire on the one commercial recording he made with the band. Listen to Jarrett on "Secret Love" from 1965, and hear an iconoclastic pianist who reconfigures the music to suit his own dramatic vision of aural possibilities.
Now fast-forward 35 years and Keith Jarrett covers a composition by a charter member of the Jazz Messengers, Mr. Horace Silver. The young revolutionary has now become very respectful, and plays the song with deference to the composer's original vision. It's hard to complain when the band plays as felicitously as this trio. But I, for one, would like to see Jarrett & Co. rough up these songs a bit more. I can't help comparing this track with an earlier "Standards Trio" live recording from Munich in 1986, when the group did so much damage to "Autumn Leaves" that there wasn't a twig or branch left by the time they were finished. Here we are merely "Strollin'"—pleasantly enough, it's true—but I wonder what Jarrett would have done to these changes if Art Blakey had called this same tune on the bandstand at the Lighthouse back in '65.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia