Up For It

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

Celebrating 20 years of his trio’s life as a working band, Keith Jarrett issues a sparkling and trimphant performance from last year’s rainswept Antibes Festival, in which standards are re-investigated from a new perspective. Buoyant, exhilarating performances from all three players, “swinging in the rain”, as Jarrett says in his liner notes.

Featured Artists Recorded

July 2002, Festival de Jazz d'Antibes, Juan-les-Pins

Original Release Date

13.05.2003

  • 1If I Were A Bell
    (Frank Loesser)
    11:45
  • 2Butch & Butch
    (Oliver Nelson)
    07:25
  • 3My Funny Valentine
    (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
    11:11
  • 4Scrapple From The Apple
    (Charlie Parker)
    09:41
  • 5Someday My Prince Will Come
    (Larry Morey, Frank Churchill)
    09:18
  • 6Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West
    (John Lewis)
    06:48
  • 7Autumn Leaves / Up For It
    (Jacques Prevert, Jacques Enoch, Joseph Kosma, Keith Jarrett)
    16:58
Stereoplay, CDs des Monats
Répertoire, L’événement du mois
 
After 20 years together, Jarrett's Standards Trio with Gary Peacock on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums continues to deserve all the prizes it can get. Rarely has collective improvisation been on such a sophisticated and communicative level, or has the verb "swing" been more subtly defined.
Mike Zwerin, International Herald Tribune
 
This outstanding album completes the rehabilitation of Jarrett the piano master. The Melody At Night showed us that the melodic craftsman was still at large. Whisper Not reminded us of the fluency that he brought to bebop but this superb release presents his current concert persona, in the presence of his (almost) life long partners and playing with exhilarating freedom.
Barry McRae, Jazz Journal International
 
Nach Rückkehr zu freier kollektiver Improvisation eine scheinbare Rückkehr zu den alten Hüten. Aber wie die gegen den Strich gebürstet werden! Vier Standards im engeren Sinn, zwei Bop-Klassiker und als größte Überraschung John Lewis' minimalistisch hingetupfter Stop-and-go-Blues "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West": abermals ein Beispiel für Jarretts neu entdeckte Sparsamkeit, die sich schon in seiner Vorliebe für Ahmad Jamal zeigt. "Up For It" ist ein acht Minuten andauernder, an drei Halbtönen aufgehängter Vamp von Jarrett, mit dem er "Autumn Leaves" ausklingen lässt. Die Einleitung zu "My Funny Valentine" aber war selbst bei Jarrett so oder ähnlich noch nie zu hören. Er hat den Song oft gespielt.
Peter Rüedi, Weltwoche
 
Die gut 73 Minuten dieses Albums, das zweifelsfrei zu den besten des mit nicht gerade wenigen exzellenten Live-CDs aufwartenden Trios zählt, versprühen den Charme eines heiteren Sonnentages. Schon der gelassene Opener "If I Were A Bell" zeigt die Menage à trois in wunderbarer Harmonie. Geschmeidig webt Gary Peacock seinen Bass in Jarretts schnörkellos elegante Tastenläufe, während Jack DeJohnette mit federndem Elan auf den Cymbals zaubert. Dann folgt die Hitparade des Trios: Oliver Nelsons "Butch & Butch", "My Funny Valentine", Charlie Parkers "Scrapple From The Apple", schließlich "Someday My Prince Will Come". Ein Stück schöner als das andere: sensibel, duftig, betörend. Mit der einzigen Eigenkomposition "Up For It", die sich aus dem Klassiker "Autumn Leaves" entwickelt, endet dieses Therapeutikum für gestresste Seelen, wie es begonnen hat: grandios.
Sven Thielmann, Stereoplay
 
Gewohnt ziehen sich Jarrett, Peacock und DeJohnette in das Innenleben der Kompositionen zurück, weit entfernt von den eingängigen Themen dieser Gassenhauer des Jazz. Wie in einem Irrgarten suchen sie dort nach neuen Wegen, spüren Abgründe auf, die sie dann selbst überbrücken und übersteigen, leichtfüßig wie leidenschaftlich, die stilistischen Grenzen eingefahrener Riten. Hierbei halten sich intellektueller Anspruch und emotionale Wirkung die Waage und lassen Up For It zu einem Fest für die Sinne werden. Musik für jede Tages- und Nachtzeit.
Jörg Konrad, Jazzpodium
 
Keith Jarrett hat jetzt eine neue Live-CD mit dem Trio unter dem Titel Up For It herausgebracht: in seinem Nuancenreichtum und in der Sicherheit, mit der die drei Musiker verschiedene Klangcharaktere spontan erfassen und aufeinander reagieren, bester kammermusikalischer Jazz. Auch deshalb, weil nie etwas einfach heruntergespielt wird, nie Routine zum Vorschein kommt.
Wolfgang Sandner, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
 
 
 
Keith Jarrett’s trio with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette is as likely, today, to play music never-before-heard as music from the Great American Songbook, and on their last two releases, “Always Let Me Go” and “Inside Out” they pushed the envelope of so-called free playing in a multiplicity of ways. There are no longer any self-imposed limits in the group’s working method. Now, however, to celebrate the trio’s 20th anniversary as a working band, comes an album - recorded one rainy day last summer at the Antibes Festival in the South of France - which once again embraces the world of standards. As always with Jarrett, however, his work in one area influences his discoveries in another and there is a wonderfully liquid, free-flowing quality to his improvisations on “up for it”. In his liner notes, Jarrett details the less-than-ideal circumstances in which the Antibes concert took place – a ‘waterlogged’ piano and audience amongst them - but there can be no doubt that the trio rose to the challenge and delivered one of its most sparkling performances. As Jarrett notes, “When we were on stage, in the middle of the music, nothing else mattered”.

The album finds them romping through pieces that have become, effectively, their ‘greatest hits’, including “My Funny Valentine”, “Someday My Prince Will Come”, “Autumn Leaves”, “If I Were A Bell” and “Butch and Butch”, and there are three tunes new to the group’s discography: Charlie Parker’s bebop masterpiece “Scrapple From The Apple”, the Modern Jazz Quartet’s pensive blues “Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West”, and Jarrett’s own exhilarating “up for it”, which concludes the performance.

Once again, we’re reminded of Jarrett’s statement on this musical idiom: “Standards are underestimated because I don’t think people understand how hard it is to write melody. Most of the composers I’ve recorded on the Standards albums are not considered ‘serious’ but yet they occupy a space that no one in serious composition could possibly occupy; the ability of the serious composers would stop as soon as they were confronted with that little melody form.” At the same time, what an improviser can create within and around the “little melody form” is limited only by his imagination: “I thought someone could show that music wasn’t about material, it was about what you bring to the material. I wanted to say that we don’t possess this, this isn’t our music. You’ll hear us relating to it as seriously as if it were ours, but not changing it into some other thing.”

The release of “up for it” also coincides with an important award for the pianist. Keith Jarrett has just been announced as the winner of the Polar Music Prize 2003, the award conferred by the Royal Swedish Music Academy and considered, in some quarters, to be music’s equivalent of the Nobel. Jarrett was the sole prize-winner this year as, for the first time the jury set aside its habitual “serious” and “popular” categorization. From the jury’s citation:

“The Polar Music Prize for 2003 is being awarded to the American musician, Keith Jarrett, pianist, composer and master of the field of improvisational music. Keith Jarrett’s musical artistry is characterised by his ability to effortlessly cross boundaries in the world of music. Jarrett, who has found his natural home on the ECM label since the 1970’s, has expressed himself over the years in the context of both jazz and compositions for various chamber music ensembles and orchestra. Through a series of brilliant solo performances and recordings that demonstrate his utterly spontaneous creativity, he has simultaneously lifted piano improvisation as an art form to new, unimaginable heights. In the 1980’s, Keith Jarrett launched his trio project, “Standards”, and turned the spotlight on The Great American Songbook. Together with bass player, Gary Peacock, and drummer, Jack DeJohnette, his further development of the art of group improvisation, in what can only be described as chamber music forms, has been completely outstanding.”

Keith Jarrett will receive the prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a gala ceremony at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on Monday the 12th of May.

On May 7th and 9th the trio of Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette plays concerts at the Stockholm Konserthuset as the conclusion of a brief Spring Tour which also takes in dates in Paris (Olympia Theatre, April 27), Warsaw (Palace of Culture, April 30th), London (Royal Festival Hall, May 3rd), and Brussells (Palais des Beaux Arts, May 5).

Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette return to Europe in the summer to play concerts in Italy (Perugia, July 11 / Milan , July 13 / Rome, July 22 / Cagliari, July 25 / Ancona, July 27), France (Juan-les-Pins, July 17) and Spain (Perlada/Barcelona, July 20). In autumn they undertake an American tour.

To coincide with the release of “up for it”, 20 years of the trio, and the Polar Prize, ECM is also issuing a special book. “Scattered Words” is the title of an 80-page volume that is an annotated Jarrett discography and more. It includes a previously unpublished essay by the pianist on the nature of free playing, quotes culled from three decades of interviews (touching on every aspect of Jarrett’s artistry), a foreword by British author Geoff Dyer, and numerous photos - by Roberto Masotti, Kunihiro Shinohara, K.Shinoyama, Vanina Luchessi and Rose Anne Jarrett.