Not only did ECM recently release a new album by Jarrett, Peacock, and DeJohnette (My Foolish Heart), but also they have released a remastered three-CD set comprising the first three releases from the "standards" trio, all of which were recorded at the Power Station in New York back in January 1983: Standards, Vol. 1; Standards, Vol. 2, and Changes. Many jazz lovers doubtless already own these albums on LP or CD, but for those who do not, here is the chance to immerse themselves in some of the finest piano trio recordings ever released.
Eschewing the tightrope act of his solo concerts, Jarrett put together a trio to play standards in an improvisational style. Somehow, these three musicians really clicked musically, and were able to record these three fine albums in their first studio sessions together. The first two releases, as you might guess from their titles, consist almost entirely of standards, while Changes contains three compositions by Jarrett that are a bit more freewheeling in style but still quite enjoyable and easy to get caught up in.
Truly, these three musicians are masters of their instruments; moreover, working together they achieve a level of creative musical energy that is a marvel to behold. Twenty-five years have passed since they first came together to record their perspective on venerable jazz standards such as "The Meaning of the Blues," "All the Things You Are," "God Bless the Child," and "I Fall in Love Too Easily," plus some originals by Jarrett, and these performances still sound every bit as fresh, powerful, and persuasive as they did when they were first released.
Between the recent release titled My Foolish Heart and Setting Standards, over the past few months I have had five Keith Jarrett CDs full of amazing music that has brought many, many smiles to my face and made my fingers quiver as I found myself playing air piano, air bass, and air drums while listening to these three amazing gentlemen ply their craft and magnify their art. If you have any young acquaintances or old friends that you would like to introduce to the glories of jazz, either or both of these releases would make a perfect gift.