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Not the album to start exploring Jarrett with, but has its good points
on 21 August 2011
If you are new to Jarrett, you probably want to find another review before reading mine. I have a strange relationship with him, having long dismissed his work as empty New Age noodlings. In capital letters I'd have called it Not My Kind Of Jazz. However, I recently heard "Always Let Me Go", and found that I might have to reassess his work. That album brought me up short. He did, after all, seem to have something to say.
This solo piano album is a very different work. Much more pared down, with shorter and less complex interpretations of standards than you might associate with him, and the playing is very understated. While at first it might seem pretty, you soon realise it's actually quite sombre. And that is where its strength lies.
For me, the best track is Blame It On Youth/Meditation, a standard which slips into a Jarrett original. I'd have given the album 3.5 if I could, but in all conscience it isn't a 4.