Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden & Paul Motian

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Charlie Haden & Paul Motian,Keith Jarrett
LABELS: ECM
WORKS: Hamburg ’72
PERFORMER: Keith Jarrett (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Paul Motian (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 470 4256

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ECM’s detectorists have unearthed another find from their early history: a live recording of one of Keith Jarrett’s 1970s trios, captured in Hamburg by the state broadcaster NDR during a European tour. It’s an interesting concert from a 21st-century perspective. For a start, four of the six numbers are Jarrett compositions – he no longer writes. Also, Jarrett plays flute and soprano sax as well as piano – another discontinued activity. After becoming accustomed to the pianist’s reflections on standards and solo improvisation in recent years, Hamburg ’72  is a reminder of his ability to shock and awe.

The overblown flute on ‘Everything that lives laments’ is gloriously discordant; the sour toned ‘Piece for Ornette’ a fitting homage. But this was a truly democratic trio and the pin-sharp sound achieved by remixing the original NDR recordings does huge justice to Motian’s coruscating cymbal work and Haden’s loudly lamenting bass. Over four decades on, it is astonishing just how fresh the music from these masters still is.

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Garry Booth