Somewhere

Music Review

11 Jun 2013
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette
Somewhere
ECM
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In the past I have found the standards covered by Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette are a little too old and soft for my tastes, but this selection, originally presented at a 2009 concert in Lucerne, has just the right balance of beauty and exploration. That's partly because it combines six standards with two originals, in both cases the Jarrett compositions segue into or out of someone else's work, the title track for instance which is a Bernstein/Sondheim piece becomes Everywhere a classic left driven Jarrett groove.
The album opens with a high contrast piece, Jarrett's solo Deep Space which has moments of shimmering beauty and others that reflect the title with their cold serenity. This migrates naturally into Miles Davis' Solar with bass then drum joining the piano. This piece is pretty adventurous and shows off the trio's chops as well as giving listeners some musical meat to get their teeth into. For me Somewhere/Everywhere is the highpoint of the album thanks to the pianists left hand constancy and some particularly inspired work from DeJohnnette who abandonsthe sticks in favour of what sounds like brushes. Jarrett plays with particular inspiration, the rhythm of the lower keys providing an anchor that lets his right hand take flight. This 20 minute revelry has a rhythmic grip that encourages you to close your eyes and be in the moment, that moment four years ago in Switzerland when the planets came into alignment and created this auspicious occasion.
I honestly think that Jarrett is playing on a higher plane than he was in when his name had a profile outside of the jazz universe, you get less of the introspective and perhaps fewer glimpses of the inner spirit but these standards allow him to show a warmer, gentler more human side. Age mellows even the most intense and not necessarily in a bad way as this superb concert reveals this in all its glory. Oh and it sounds great too, even by ECM's high standards.