Sunday, August 12, 2012

From those days

A review of Sleeper, an album just released but recorded in 1979 by Keith Jarrett in his "European Quartet" period. (For an example of Jarrett's sound around that time, see above.) (All About Jazz)

When Jarrett's heralded European Quartet (also known as the Belonging Group)—with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen—folded in 1979, it left a small but precious discography, in contrast to the pianist's American Quartet which, in addition to two ECM recordings, had a string of eight live and studio releases on Impulse!. Two studio recordings (1974's Belonging and 1978's My Song) and one live recording (1980's Nude Ants) were all fans had until 1989, when the label issued Personal Mountains, a stunning single-disc set from the same Japanese tour that is the source for Sleeper, and which righted the wrong of Nude Ants—a fine performance, to be sure, but marred by a brittle sound not up to the label's usual standards. While the compositions are, for the most part, nothing new to those familiar with Nude Ants and Personal Mountains, Sleeper presents, for the first time, an entire concert from the tour, and absolutely no cross-over with previously released material.

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