Keith Jarrett: Love No. 1


Love No. 1


Keith Jarrett (piano)


Life Between the Exit Signs (Rhino Atlantic)

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Keith Jarrett (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Composed by Keith Jarrett


Recorded: New York, May 4, 1967


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Life Between the Exit Signs was Keith Jarrett's debut release as leader, and expectations were high, given the major impact he was already having as pianist for the popular Charles Lloyd Quartet. Also significant is that Charlie Haden and Paul Motian would remain members of Jarrett's trio, both before and after he left Lloyd in 1969, only to later be joined by Dewey Redman in Jarrett's "American" quartet/quintet that lasted until the late '70s.

This early glimpse of Jarrett's trio shows that it was a work in progress. Jarrett's alluring, breath-of-fresh-air style and could not disguise the fact that this was not yet a totally cohesive unit. Nevertheless, their chemistry was already remarkable, as exemplified here. Jarrett's pensively romantic side is front and center, the theme and his touch both suggestive of Bill Evans. Haden's typically thrusting, jabbed-out solo possesses a certain openhearted majesty. Jarrett responds with an improv full of entrancing, rippling runs that in turn project a sincere emotionality, with Haden's running sparse commentary proficiently enhancing the pianist's message. Motian, so used to this type of ballad treatment from his years with Evans, adds his own lightly delivered percussive colorations, insinuating yet unobtrusive. Despite a rather abrupt ending, this is one of Jarrett's most mature early recorded performances.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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