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Album Review

Yesterdays is the third title ECM has released by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette (dubbed "the standards trio"). The first two — The Out-of-Towners released in 2004 and My Foolish Heart issued in 2007 — were actually recorded later than this live date recorded in Tokyo in April of 2001. This also marks a first in the pianist's career: the George Gershwin tune "You Took Advantage of Me" appeared on My Foolish Heart in a very different arrangement, making this the first time Jarrett has ever employed a single track on two consecutive albums. On My Foolish Heart Jarrett used a full-on ragtime intro to the tune. Here, he employs a denser harmonic construction based on its changes and melodic frame. When the band enters, the pop and swing in the tune become pronounced, standing in the same universe as ragtime (which is more than likely the reason Jarrett employed it before) but also much more sophisticated and harmonically complex. Other standouts on this fine set include the bop burners "Scrapple from the Apple" and "Shaw'nuff," the glorious ballads "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "You've Changed," and a deeply moving rendition of "Stella by Starlight." What is most remarkable about this band is its sense of balance between eloquence, interplay, improvisational communication, and swing. This group is not only a solid link to the tradition Jarrett, Peacock, and DeJohnette all came up with, but it is a solid teaching pointer as to how to employ standards for the music in the future.

Biography

Born: 08 May 1945 in Allentown, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist, composer, and bandleader Keith Jarrett is one of the most prolific, innovative, and iconoclastic musicians to emerge from the late 20th century. As a pianist (though that is by no means the only instrument he plays), he literally changed the conversation in jazz by introducing an entirely new aesthetic regarding solo improvisation in concert. Though capable of playing in a wide variety of styles, Jarrett is deeply grounded in the jazz tradition. He has recorded nearly 80 albums...
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