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Standards Live

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Album Review

Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio spread their wings during live performance in as astute and dignified a manner as any group since the similarly sized Bill Evans ensembles of three decades prior. Bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette easily match the Evans bandmates Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian in terms of their telepathy, rhythmic savvy, harmonic ideas and supportive idealism. They propel Jarrett's advanced viewpoint in making well-known American popular songs all his own. While the incessant vocal whining of the leader in accord with his playing is an issue, the way he sensitively interprets a familiar song is not. The trio warms slowly as Jarrett's introduces "Stella by Starlight" with delicate precision, also keeping a cool head on Alec Wilder's "The Wrong Blues" with tempo in check. "Falling in Love with Love" hits third gear running, as Jarrett's fleet, lithe and flowing lines dismiss reckless abandon, and settles into a groove. A slight Latin hue on "Too Young to Go Steady" from the adept DeJohnette turns this composition to pure gold, while Jarrett does not hesitate getting right to the melody of "The Way You Look Tonight" because he knows and loves it all too well. DeJohnette is not only completely supportive, but undeniably is reinventing the jazz swing rhythm through this whole concert. A nice choice for a closer, Nat Adderley's soulful and spiritual "The Old Country" is tactfully portrayed, and because it is included on a record of standards, can be happily declared as official jazz orthodoxy. The trio is fairly concise, even for concert guidelines (nothing over 11 minutes), so the indulgence factor is virtually non-existent, and listenability is very high even for those who are challenged. Such stellar collective musicianship and their teamwork deems this recording worthy of any most recommended list. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews


You can listen to this album any number of times. This trio is always great, but here they go beyond a little bit. Listen as if to someone speaking, convincing you what kind of song you're listening to. My favorites are The Wrong Blues and Too Young To Go Steady. The music is persuasive, so that one finds oneself agreeing, that's what the song is about, isn't it? Of course, the meaning is musical, not verbal. About Jarrett's vocal spasms, what to say? It's all part of it, I guess. I disagree with someone else who claims Jarrett hogs the scene. Great solos by Peacock and DeJohnette.

A beautiful tapestry

There are so many amazing Keith Jarrett performances it almost seems odd to write a review of one - as though the others are being left out. But this recording is a step above even for this incredible trio. Stella by Starlight alone is worth the price of the CD, and the interaction and freshness of the trio is near perfection. Each element stands on its own, each player is at their peak, but it is what they do together that makes this CD so special.

Great music, so much vocal noise

I love the music, but sometimes it really is difficult to not focus on Keith’s nearly constant vocalizations.


Born: May 8, 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...
Full Bio
Standards Live, Keith Jarrett Trio
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jul 02, 1985

Customer Ratings