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on 23 April 2010
The first Keith Jarrett trio, recorded in studio in 1967: Keith Jarrett on piano, Charlie Haden on acoustic bass and Paul Motian on drums. Seven original compositions by Jarrett, one standard by Cole Porter. 49 minutes of mostly well paced themes, with beautiful playing from Jarrett, complex solos dense of musical ideas. Somehow a combination of Bill Evans and Herbie Nichols, enriched by with various moments of free improvisation, all infused with the already strong musical personality of Jarrett, included his "signature singing while improvising". Not always an easy recording session, but a totally rewarding experience if enough time is granted to the necessary repeated listening. Interesting to observe that this music is more similar to the recent output of pianists Frank Kimbrough and Kenny Werner than the Keith Jarrett standard trio. Recommended to any jazz piano enthusiast wanting to hear Jarrett taking his first steps in the trio setting, defining concepts further developed three decades after in "Inside out" (recorded 2000) and "Always Let Me Go" (recorded 2001). Good packaging with new linear notes (2004) as well as the original linear notes by Jarrett himself. Very good re-mastered sound quality.
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on 1 September 2010
I would like to echo much of A. Zona's review. Check out 'Somewhere Before' and 'The Mourning of A Star' too; the trio of Jarrett, Haden and Motian produced music of true, timeless quality.

'Life Between The Exit Signs' is an exhilarating listen and a fascinating experience too, as the listener resolves the music heard here with that of Jarrett's current 'Standards Trio'.

By the 1970s, the Jarrett/Haden/Motian trio would be joined by Dewey Redman to create the so-called 'American Quartet', a group that produced a large number of outstanding albums throughout that decade.
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I bought this album many years ago not knowing that it was Jarrett's first release with a piano trio at the age of 22. As such it is a pretty impressive album. His command of the instrument is phenomenal and the tunes are all his own compositions. He also clearly does some "free-form" improvisation as well.

However it does not hold my attention and some of the music is discordant. Compared with work to come (not far into the future) this is a disappointment. To think that less than ten years into the future he will record "The Koln Concert" a performance of perfection.
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