on 2 September 2010
This 2009 reissue of 'Treasure Island' is absolutely terrific. It's nicely presented in a fold-out cardboard case, while the sound quality is crisp. I am pleased to see that Verve have resisted adding 'bonus' material, such as inferior 'alternate takes', studio chatter, false starts and other detritus found on the editing room floor... Personally, I think these things ruin many reissues. There are boxsets available if you do find value in those things, however.
I am quite familiar with Jarrett's 'American Quartet', yet this album took me by surprise with its diversity and originality. And this from a group that was hardly repetitive to start with. How creative the musicians continued to be! The opening piece is a slow blues, with Motian nicely behind the beat. Some pieces, such as 'Blue Streak', 'Sister Fortune' and the title track are pretty enough to be 'pop' instrumentals. On top of that, there are a couple of 'free' pieces.
For the recording of this album, the regular quartet of Jarrett, Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman and Paul Motian were augmented by the late Sam Brown on electric guitar, while Guilherme Franco and Danny Johnson contributed percussion. I'm not sure whether they played simultaneously or on different recording dates, but the wonderful chaos of 'Angles (Without Edges)' makes me think it could be the former!
Brown was a part of Jarrett's 'Expectations' record from 1971, while Johnson had been performing live with the American Quartet, as documented on the magnificent 'Fort Yawuh' album. Guilherme Franco would eventually replace Danny Johnson for the making of later albums. According to Charlie Haden, Johnson was in fact an artist who was invited to perform with the band...!
In my opinion, all of the Jarrett/American Quartet albums are to be heard. There are many and I've collected them all, over a period of several years. I enjoy each one, from the early Jarrett-Haden-Motian trio releases, to the final issues from ECM and Impulse!/Verve. 'Treasure Island' is one more wonderful piece in the group's discography.
on 12 July 2015
I can't disagree with the former review in any respect,merely wishing to point out that the whole of the KJQ's canon is available as a box set,on Italian Universal.Get it now,it will doubtless disappear...got mine for a pretty decent price...and there's no complaining about that.Get that,get the ECM's...start with the Koln Concert.the most inspired improvised record I own,and then get 'em all!