Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette — Somewhere
(ECM 2766370, 2009/2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-07-05"Standards." This word may conjure up the image of a tired crooner sleepwalking his way through "Fly Me to the Moon" or "Stardust" backed by a bored pianist and a bassist who'd rather be checking his email or chatting up the blonde at the bar (just an example — I don't intend to make general statements about bass players). But in the hands of this masterful trio, who have been performing together off and on for 30 years, the standard repertoire is not a means of playing it safe but a jumping off point for some great playing. Not that they're breaking new ground here — there are no "innovations" as such, just ample evidence that the classic piano trio is far from obsolete. The appreciative audience from this 2009 Lucerne performance confirm the quality with their generous applause. The show tunes and American classics are augmented with a couple of Jarrett originals and Miles Davis' "Solar," which the trio has recorded before. West Side Story is visited twice, with "Somewhere" and "Tonight," and one of the set's highlights is when "Somewhere" slides into Jarrett's "Everywhere" seamlessly, carrying forward enough of the harmonic material to provide continuity while allowing ample room for stretching out for 13 minutes. As the pianist, Jarrett is the obvious focus of attention, but the contributions of Peacock and DeJohnette are crucial; Peacock in particular provides a couple of wonderful moments. This trio reminds us what is possible without gimmicks — three supremely talented musicians working off each other and making beautiful art.
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more