Keith Jarrett: The Song is You


The Song is You


Keith Jarrett (piano)


Still Live (ECM 1360/61)

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

Composed by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II


Recorded: Philharmonic Hall, Munich, July 13, 1986


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

I wouldn't be surprised if this live recording is someday reissued with a name like The Great Concert of the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio or some other grandiose moniker. The stars were clearly aligned for Messrs. Jarrett, Peacock & DeJohnette at their July 1986 Munich performance, and almost every track is at a high level. But Jarrett's piano intro to "The Song is You"—one all-too-brief minute of ecstatic improvisation—makes it onto my short list of favorite moments. Here the pianist marries the finest aspects of his "Solo Concerts" with the canonical approach of the Standards Trio, and the results are brisk and compelling. My immediate reaction when the rest of the band enters is disappointment . . . I would like this solo section to continue for several more minutes. Yet Peacock and DeJohnette quickly show that they also can rewrite the old repertoire. I'm not sure whether the trio had originally planned to play this song for 17 minutes, but I can easily believe that they just went with the flow. And it is a rapturous flow that carries them along. There are many, many fine recordings that demonstrate what this ensemble is all about, but this is not a bad place to start if you want to take the measure of their mastery.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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