This record is awesome. I first heard it on a memorial broadcast on WKCR-FM (New York, Columbia University radio) for Paul Motian, the dynamic drummer. It hails from 1971, a watershed year for music, a time when anything goes, everything is permitted. The songs are brilliant, integrating improvisation, great songs, and an all-for-one-one for-all approach to the music. the title track is sweet, starting as a duet with Jarrett and Dewey Redman on tenor. Jarretts's harmonic colors are the perfect foil for Redman's Texas soul jazz. Bassist Charlie Haden and Motions enter on Jarrett's solo. Jarrett rocks the soprano sax and his interplay with Dewey Redman is stellar. "Spirit" the third track, is the opposite of "Birth". It's a free form journey with percussion and Redman playing musette. Otherworldly, in a word. Motian's drums, on this, and other tracks, provide textures and colors, a precursor to his later work where he eschews virtually all traditional drum styles in favor of pure invention and coloration.
The highlight for me is the second cut, "Montage" which caught my ear on the radio. It features only the second known (to me) track where Charlie Haden plays electric stand up bass through a wah-wah pedal! It is the nastiest, funkiest sound known to man! Jarrett plays the tastiest sax. Motian plays rock drums in a delicate, loping groove, at once gentle, tasty and intense. How does he do it? Redman gets soulful when it's his turn and Jarrett contributes yelps and squeaks as accompaniment. The whole record is crazy like that, and sweet. For those who find Jarrett's recent work too highfalutin de classe and arty farty, this is the record for you. He was still in the thrall of Miles Davis, experimentation and youthful testosterone. And the other three players are in the height of their powers also. "Birth" is killin', yo.