Keith Jarrett, Somewhere

Steve Holtje

By Steve Holtje

on 05.28.13 in Reviews


Keith Jarrett, Lucy Stoltzman & The New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

This 30-year-old group seems ubiquitous, with 19 albums plus two DVDs released before this one. However, some of that was late release of stockpiled concert recordings; this 2009 Swiss concert is notable as their first post-2002 recording to come out.

A quite satisfying release from a ubiquitous group

The swinging uptempo tracks (“Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” “Tonight”), are highly classy lounge jazz, mostly functioning as change-of-pace, though Jarrett’s solo piano intro to the former is imaginative and witty. It’s the more ruminative tracks that offer the rewards here, and dominate the album. Most obviously, there are the two medleys: Jarrett’s solo improvisation “Deep Space” leads into a playful “Solar” (Miles Davis) and the epic (group improv?) “Everywhere” follows “Somewhere” (Bernstein/Sondheim). Jarrett’s luscious lines on “Stars Fell on Alabama” and “I Thought About You” are ballad playing at its soulful best.

Gary Peacock — arguably the best active jazz bassist — is never content to offer predictable support, his creativity always enlivening tracks without distorting them. Though drummer Jack DeJohnette can’t cut loose here like he does in other contexts, he’s sounding more comfortable (in a good way) in this group. Changeless and Bye Bye Blackbird remain this trio’s high points, but Somewhere is quite satisfying.