The Out-of-Towners

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

Recorded in Munich, ECM’s hometown, in 2001, "The Out-of-Towners " finds jazz’s most consistently creative piano trio at the peak of its game. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette captivate the audience at the Munich State Opera.
Balancing standards and jazz tunes with Keith Jarrett originals, the trio keeps the music in tight focus. There is spirited blues-based group improvisation in the title track, and shared joy as the musicians roar into "Five Brothers", the old Gerry Mulligan favourite, or negotiate the blissful, enraptured melody of Cole Porter’s "I Love You." At the album’s conclusion, Keith Jarrett returns to the stage alone – a rare moment in the trio’s recordings –  to play a heart dilating rendition of the ballad "It’s All In The Game." — so tender that it could easily have fit onto his "The Melody At Night With You" solo disc.

Featured Artists Recorded

July 2001, State Opera, Munich

Original Release Date

30.08.2004

  • 1Intro / I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
    (Keith Jarrett, Clarence Gaskill, Jimmy McHugh)
    12:10
  • 2You’ve Changed
    (Carl Fischer, Bill Carey)
    08:13
  • 3I Love You
    (Cole Porter)
    10:00
  • 4The Out-of-Towners
    (Keith Jarrett)
    19:45
  • 5Five Brothers
    (Gerry Mulligan)
    11:12
  • 6It’s All In The Game
    (Carl Sigman, Charles Gates Dawes)
    06:47
Grammy Nomination 2005
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Bestenliste 4/2004
Fono Forum, Empfehlung des Monats
Stereo, CD des Monats
Audio, Klang Tipp
Stereoplay, Klangtipp
Piano News, CD des Doppelmonats
Piano Magazine, Coup de cœur
Consigliato da Musica Jazz
 
Jarrett’s overabundant imagination is happily reined in – disciplined, almost – by his rhythm-playing peers. It might seem odd that such ancient songs as Cole Porter’s “I Love You” should re-emerge here in brilliant new clothing. But the magic is that it does, and a pretty simple piece of composition gets an unexpected rebirth. … In pieces like the slow “You’ve Changed”, Peacock and DeJohnette hit a superb groove without ever abandoning their creative instincts. The bass comes in with occasional flurries and answer keyboard figures with instant rapport: the drums whisper under DeJohnette’s brushes. The session closes with Jarrett’s solo version of “It’s All In The Game”, in which he hardly strays from the theme, exploring its romantic cadences and investing it with rich harmonies. The opera house is struck dumb and, afterwards, the applause is deservedly generous. And we, of course, can return to this superb performance again and again.
Anthony Troon, Jazzreview
 
This is pianist Keith Jarrett’s „Standards“ trio, formed back in January 1983 to explore the harmonic and rhythmic intricacies of American Popular Song. Over the years they have perfected the art of doing what they have done before by a constant process of refinement, and what began as the Keith Jarrett Trio has become equal billing for all. It’s a key point in understanding their art; this is not about the competing dialogues of piano, bass and drums but a collective give-and-take in the heat of the creative moment that reaches for that magical nirvana where three musicians speak with one voice. Recorded live in Munich in 2001, the sheer joy of shared music making is infectious.
Stuart Nicholson, The Observer Music Monthly
 
The fascinatingly preoccupied, almost abstract blues of the title track displays more layers and implications than any other – from the pianist’s minimal, fragmentary blues figures to peacock’s free-associating rejoinders, and DeJohnette’s lateral, pattering brushwork. There’d be an argument for saying the disc was worth it for that fascinating interlude alone.
John Fordham, The Guardian
 
On The Out-of-Towners ... the Trio sounds totally engaged in the pursuit of fresh discoveries, electric with the kind of creative energy that levitates all three off their stools. While Jarrett has returned to certain songs frequently with this group, this album contains five standards that he has not previously recorded. ... Cole Porter’s “I Love You” takes off from the start. When Jarrett airs it out, the exhilaration comes partly from how spontaneous, subjective digressions are thrown off in profligate extravagance, but even more from how they always return seamlessly to the song.
Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes<
 
Als Triumvirat werden Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette und Gary Peacock gern das “Standardtrio“ genannt, einerseits, weil im Zentrum ihrer Improvisationen stets Neuinterpretationen von Jazzklassikern gestanden haben, andererseits, weil ihr traumwandlerisch agierendes magisches Dreieck Standards gesetzt hat. ... Am Beginn und am Ende Jarrett allein am Flügel, dazwischen eine Lehrstunde in Souveränität: fragile Schönheit, perlende Läufe, Temporitte, ausgefuchste Interaktionen, riskante Spannungsbögen, Harmonie als große Fortsetzung einer großen Geschichte.
Ulrich Steinmetzger, Rheinischer Merkur
 
Unter den Klaviertrios des aktuellen Jazz beansprucht die Combo um Keith Jarrett, den Kontrabassisten Gary Peacock und den Schlagzeuger Jack DeJohnette seit jeher das Prädikat Sonderklasse. Und mit The Out-of-Towners, dem nun endlich veröffentlichten Mitschnitt dieses Konzerts, unterstreichen sie den Anspruch. Lässig und intensiv driften sie durch das Reich ihrer Musik, graben sich für einen Moment in die innere Mechanik einer Standardballade, ringen ihr im nächsten einen Ausflug in tonal angespannte Klangbezirke ab, die sie mit raffiniertem Swing und dem Klangfarbenreichtum einer erstaunlich vielfältigen Palette kolorieren. ... Aus der Ruhe und Vertrautheit einer Zusammenarbeit, die schon mehr als 20 Jahre überdauert, spielt dieses Trio frisch und frei, rein und eigensinnig, wie direkt aus der Quelle des Jazz heraus.
Stefan Hentz, Financial Times Deutschland
 
Von A bis Z ist dies ein makelloses Konzert, mit einer hinreißenden Version der Holiday-Nummer „You’ve Changed“, einer Up-Tempo-Version von Cole Porters „I Love You“, einem freien Blues-Vamp von fast zwanzig Minuten und Gerry Mulligans Antiquität „Five Brothers“. Business as usual? Nur für den, der nach einem Blick auf die Affiche abwinkt, Standard für Standard hält und ein gesetztes Personal für eine immobile Einheit. In Wahrheit hockt Gott im Detail, kommt es auf die Nuancen an, auf die Geschichte mehr als die Sprache. Zweifellos ist dies ... eine der technisch brillantesten Aufnahmen des Trios. Dieses bewegt sich seit Jahren auf einer Hochebene, wo andern die Luft dünn wird, es verharrt sozusagen auf dem Gipfel der Möglichkeiten und bewegt sich an Ort (was das Gegenteil ist von Stillstand).
Peter Rüedi, Weltwoche
 
Der verstorbene Jazzpapst Joachim-Ernst Berendt bejubelte Jarrett vor 25 Jahren als Künstler, der “nahezu alles, was je auf dem Klavier gemacht wurde, in seinen zehn Fingern und vor allem im Kopf und im Herzen hat”. Dass dies immer noch zutrifft, offenbart die neue CD des Pianisten mit seinem phantastischen Trio.
Hans Hielscher, Kultur Spiegel
 
Mit Ausnahme des Titelstücks spielen Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock und Jack DeJohnette bekannte Songs und eine Modern-Jazz-Nummer, in denen sie einmal mehr vorführen, dass im Jazz nicht das Material zählt, sondern das, was man daraus macht. Zu sagen, sie machten das Beste daraus, klingt missverständlich, und doch tun sie genau das. Bekanntes Material dient ihnen nur als Anlass für Höhenflüge in Sachen Improvisation und musikalischer Interaktion.
Berthold Klostermann, Stereo
 
 
 
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, the “Out-of-Towners” of the title, check into Munich, ECM’s home-base, in July 2001 for an exhilarating concert at the State Opera, traditionally a setting for more formal entertainments....

All the way to the encore, where Jarrett returns alone to the stage to perform a crystalline solo version of “It’s All In The Game” this is a most focused performance which must count amongst the best work from Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette, the group still known, colloquially, as “the Standards trio”. There are many highlights: the opening balladesque improvised intro leading into the jaunting and reassuringly familiar chords of “I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me” (strongly associated with both Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra/Nelson Riddle), Cole Porter’s beautiful “I Love You” (Coltrane’s “Lush Life” performance of the tune may be a reference in the trio’s version); the vamping blues-based free play on “The Out-of-Towners” which has parallels with “Inside Out”, recorded a year earlier. As Jarrett said then, “even in the context of free playing, the blues are so relevant and true.” And inexhaustible. Gerry Mulligan’s “Five Brothers” closes the trio’s portion of the set, with spirit, flair and drive.

Jarrett’s infrequent Munich concert appearances have always been events. Part of his solo Munich concert, originally released in 1982 in the “Concerts (Bregenz/Munich)” box set was chosen by the pianist himself for his ”Selected Recordings” anthology in the ECM :rarum series. And the acclaimed “Still Live” featured Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette in strong form at Munich’s Philharmonic Hall in 1986.

“The Out-of-Towners” also has the distinction of being one of the trio’s best-sounding discs. Its vivid, intimate presence puts the listener in the front stalls at the opera house, allowing him or her to verify, at close quarters, Down Beat’s remark that “this trio sets the standard of performance for all others on the scene”.

Keith Jarrett has said of the trio’s work, “We are different people, and the alchemy we get when we play together comes from our separate natures. But no description can make a person as great as I feel Jack and Gary are. We've been together so long (more than two decades), we understand each other's language, and we trust each other 100%.” And, elsewhere, “I feel we are an underground band that has, by accident, a large audience. Because we are never conformists, we are always radical, even though we may be playing what people think they know…But what we are doing in those pieces is a non-conforming thing.”

Whether playing the “known” or pulling new music out of the ether – “in jazz, it’s not the material, it’s what you bring to the material” (Jarrett) - the group continues to scale new peaks, and Jarrett himself is receiving a level of public recognition and acclaim unprecedented for a committed improviser. In May 2003, he was presented with the Polar Music Prize of the Royal Swedish Music Academy. In July 2004 he received the equally prestigious Leonie Sonning Music Prize, Denmark’s most important music award. The award committee’s citation stated that Jarrett has “experimented and modernized music without rejecting tradition, uncorrupted by the times or by music’s trends and caprices.” The last time a jazz music musician won the Sonning Music Prize was 20 years ago, when Jarrett’s erstwhile employer Miles Davis received it. The prize winners have more often been drawn from the classical and contemporary music idioms. (In 2003, Hungarian composer György Kurtág, whose work has been championed by ECM New Series, won the award).