While the dramatic opening to ‘Hymns’ is conventionally beautiful and ecclesiastical-sounding, Jarrett soon pulls out all the stops (well, half of them anyway) to create a beguiling soundscape that seems poised somewhere between Messiaen and Tangerine Dream.
Phil Johnson, Independent On Sunday
Utilising pitches and notes discovered outside of the tempered scale gives the music a heightened sense of drama and tension that is wonderfully released by Jarrett’s use of dynamics, showing as much control as he would over his more familiar instrument of choice.
At the time of the original LP release critics made much of the comparisons with the music of Ligeti and Messiaen, but to these ears Jarrett approaches his music as if he too has the right to create organ music on his own terms. And this he does, with many of his familiar traits at the piano not being replicated on the larger keyboard, but being modified at the time of performance to produce music that is both dignified and absorbing.
Nick Lea, Jazz Views