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.
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