At his worst Keith Jarrett can be a sore trial, having perpetrated some pretty tiresome music over the years - I think of his double-album Spirits, on which he eschews piano for the most part to tinker to scant effect with various pipes and percussion - but at his finest there are few to touch him, and Belonging shows the Pennsylvanian at his lyrical best.
With Jan Garbarek at his least indulgent (no hint of Officium earnestness here) and a Swedish rhythm section of like mind, this date is one of Jarrett/Garbarek`s most wholly satisfying, a mix of playful uptempo numbers and langourous ballads.
Central to this set is a six-minute funky piano-led charmer called `Long As You Know You`re Living Yours, and thereby hangs a tale. Anyone who knows the music of Steely Dan will recognise the theme, as Becker & Fagen (in genuine tribute, rather than to decieve) passed it off as their own as the title track of the album Gaucho, until Jarrett sued - it was settled out of court. Both versions are great!
In short, this is a lovely 45 minutes of well-programmed numbers from an excellent quartet on a pleasingly acoustic 1974 disc. In the right mood, Jarrett`s unique, lucent way with a melody hits the spot. Garbarek is on his coolly articulate top form here too.
One of the good ones.