Friday, 23 September 2016

Keith Jarrett - At the Blue Note: Saturday, June 4th 1994, 1st Set

It's that time of year again for autumn leaves - to be specific, my favourite rendition of the Joseph Kosma chestnut, stretched to a thrilling 26 minutes by my favourite jazz piano trio.  After four minutes of Jarrett's solo meanderings, the Peacock/DeJohnette engine room revs up and locks in to an upbeat cruise through the melody, followed by plenty of soloing.  From the 13 minute mark onwards, we're into one of these stellar improvs that only this trio can pull off.

The Standards Trio spent a whole weekend's residency at the legendary Blue Note in June 1994, and every note they played was released the following year in a 6-CD box set.  This disc, the first set from Saturday night, was the only one to be released in its own right - presumably  because it's absolutely phenomenal from start to finish.  Everyone's at the top of their game, Jarrett's vocalisations are...tolerable, and the recording quality, as you'd expect, is peerless - perfect jazz club intimacy.  Other than Autumn Leaves, the other extended high-point of the set is You Don't Know What Love Is segueing into a Jarrett original called Muezzin.  Jack DeJohnette switches to hand percussion, and the results are pure magic.

The Days Of Wine And Roses


  1. "Jarrett's vocalisations are...tolerable"

    hahaha, you nailed it. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to listening!

  2. I kind of resent the term of "chestnut" for this piece - Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", is a chestnut - "Autumn Leaves" is a standard. A matter of opinion I guess. Other versions to consider: Ahmad Jamal's 1961 take at the Alhambra(The rhythm section is cunningly fantastic!); Jim Hall and Ron Carter's guitar/bass duo version is also very pleasant - strings go well with autumnal melancholy.
    At times I may be critical, I know, but I love this blog nonetheless, I check in ev'ry day.. thanks!

    1. Another favourite version of mine - the magnificent opener on 'Somethin Else' with Cannonball teamed up with Miles.

      My use of 'chestnut' above was meant as affectionate, almost synonymous with 'standard', but you make a good point about the distinction. Always great to have your feedback, Siphonophoros. The comments on this blog, of any sort, have definitely been adding to my enjoyment of doing it!