Part of the ECM masterpiece collection. Comes in a SHM-CD format. Limited edition.
Well, it's exactly what it says on the tin, perhaps--another album of quiet solo piano music from the doyen of quiet solo piano music--but there's an intense, rather spooky strangeness to much of what's going on here. The tone is set by the opening of the first piece, which focuses on slow, attenuated arpeggios strangely reminiscent of, of all things, some of John Cage's solo (unprepared) piano pieces, knowing in their simplicity. Elsewhere, when Jarrett wanders off into the sophisticated lounge music which his followers regard as sublime but which others simply find exasperating, his right hand produces parodic melodies that fold back into themselves in a manner which evokes another composer from the American avant-garde tradition, Robert Ashley. Step away from these details and it almost seems as if Jarrett is setting out to imitate and subvert those with whom he's occasionally compared--try playing this back-to-back with a Harold Danko solo recording--and the results manage to be both subdued, refined and delicate while at the same time eerily claustrophobic, like the opening scenes of Blue Velvet
. Jarrett fans will want this anyway; others will at least find it interestingly odd. --Roger Thomas