Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hamburg '72 Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden / Paul Motian ECM 2014

Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian: Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian: Hamburg '72

An interesting look at one of the most iconic improvisational musicians of our time.

Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com

While not a fan of recent live releases from pianist Keith Jarrett, Hamburg '72 is an interesting look at Jarrett's versatility and immense gifts both as an instrumentalist and composer. The trio that includes Charlie Haden and Paul Motian may arguably be his best ensemble cast and here we find additional instrumentation including flute, soprano sax and some subtle percussive additions that add a balanced texture of sound.

This would seem to be a trio working more as a collective and not the soloist and after thoughts that some recording evoke. A quiet yet subtle group that feeds off the improvisational conversations of each other, Hamburg '72 is indeed a showcase for this rare ensemble to show their strengths in both creativity and the importance of the fine art of listening to the direction each artist is heading. Negatives? The sound while good is somewhat of a let down and this would probably be from the aspect of this recording being remixed from an NDR radio performance. This is not the ECM standard that most listeners will find appealing.

This recording is a showcase that highlights the evolution and harmonic development of Jarrett with a creativity perhaps not seen since the late Bill Evans.

4 Stars.
Tracks: Rainbow; Everything That Lives Laments; Piece for Ornette; Take Me Back; Life Dance; Song for Che.
Personnel: Keith Jarrett: piano, flute, percussion, soprano saxophone; Charlie Haden: double bass; Paul Motian: drums, percussion.