Part of the ECM masterpiece collection. Comes in a SHM-CD format. Limited edition.
A couple of the reasons this session of standards stands out amid Keith Jarrett's multiple standards sessions in the 1980s and 90s are the modest nightclub setting and the fact that Paul Motian subs for usual trio drummer Jack DeJohnette. The setting is relaxed and homey, with the improvisations holding a warmth that denotes unparalleled comfort for the trio, perhaps because the venue holds personal charm for Jarrett, who played piano at the Deer Head Inn as a teen. He spaces his phrasing exquisitely, tingeing phrases with just the right shades, as Motian takes a much more recessive rhythmic role than DeJohnette's usual fare. The result is curiously strong, with implied rhythms speaking far louder than some of Jarrett's more overt rhythmic pushes elsewhere. Among many highlights, this set peaks with a nod to the late Jaki Byard on his tune "Chandra". This is a sonically and musically stellar achievement. --Andrew Bartlett