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Somewhere Before: The Keith Jarrett Anthology

The Atlantic Years 1968-1975

Warner Jazz 8122799467




1. Life Between the Exit Signs
2. Everything I Love
3. Margot
4. Lisbon Stomp
5. New Rag
6. Poutís Over (and the Dayís not Through)
7. Somewhere Before
8. A Moment for Tears
9. Standing Outside
10. Trust
11. All I Want
12. The Mourning of a Star
1. Grow Your Own
2. Como En Vietnam
3. Fortune Smiles
4. The Raven Speaks
5. Birth

6. Mortgage on My Soul (Wah-Wah)
7. Toll Road
8. Gypsy Moth
9. Pardon My Rags
10. Old Rag

Keith Jarrett - Piano, tenor recorder, soprano sax, flute, steel drums, conga drums
Charlie Haden - Bass
Paul Motian - Drums, steel drums, conga drums
Gary Burton - Vibes
Sam Brown, Steve Swallow - Guitars
Bill Goodwin - Drums
Dewey Redman - Tenor sax

Keith Jarrett came to be regarded as a significant pianist in the 1960s. Since that time he has continued to be a leading pianist in the jazz world. He has a phenomenal technique and he is equally competent in the world of classical music. These records were made by the Atlantic label. From 1966 to 1969 he was the pianist in the Charles Lloyd Quartet; he also was the pianist for a time with the Miles Davis Band shortly afterwards. 

Keith Jarrett is not over-concerned with swing, which seems a shame for a jazz pianist. He also seems to keep the company of most of my least favourite jazz performers. Paul Motian did nothing for me when I saw him in action, Charles Lloyd is one of the strangest tenor players I have come across and Dewey Redman can be odd at times, but of the two I prefer him to Lloyd. At least he sounds like a saxophonist - something that canít be said for Keith Jarrett: his soprano sax sounds like a kazoo. There are some pluses, however: the vibes playing of Gary Burton is always a treat. Steve Swallow I always enjoy and Charlie Haden is a fine bass player. 

Throughout the album there is some very attractive playing from the leader, but I find a lot of the work hard to follow, full of technique but lacking in swing. For me this makes it hard to sustain interest through two CDs. Of the first seven tracks, only Somewhere Before really grabbed me - and even in that I had difficulty in understanding what was going on. 

The introduction of Gary Burton on CD2 improved things for me: he is such a fine player who possesses an amazing quality to play well in any company and enhance any group with which he performs. 

It is impossible for someone to have had the success Jarrett has enjoyed without him being a first-class talent, but itís not for me. 

Don Mather



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