Tokyo 96

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack Dejohnette
PERFORMER: Keith Jarrett (p), Gary Peacock (b), Jack DeJohnette (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 539 955-2

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Keith Jarrett first began recording standards with this trio in January 1983, and on this occasion, some 13 years later, the performances are as spellbinding as ever. The concert was recorded at Orchard Hall, Tokyo, on 30 March 1996, and the audience was so drawn into the music that there are often several seconds of silence at the end of a piece before a storm of applause.

The musical and emotional range is great, covering the spectrum from the intense romantic poignance of ‘Never Let Me Go’, first recorded at the 1983 studio sessions, to the headlong joyous swing of ‘Autumn Leaves’, where the trio is so keen to get down to business that the piano introduction is a perfunctory two or three bars. The sonorities, swing and sheer adventure of this trio are unsurpassed. Bud Powell’s composition ‘John’s Abbey’ (based on the ‘I Got Rhythm’ structure) is taken at a ferocious tempo with the trio at full stretch and the whole thing is so exhilarating that, as the final theme is played, the audience erupts spontaneously.

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The waltz ‘Summer Night’, by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, is given a wonderfully reflective reading with extraordinary flights of fancy from Jarrett, and that old jazz warhorse ‘I’ll Remember April’ is reinvented and given a hypnotically rocking tag-ending with first Jarrett, then Peacock dropping out, leaving DeJohnette to play it out minimally and quietly on drums – a delightfully surprising ending.