Whisper Not

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

This is the first Standards Trio recording since Keith Jarrett’s return to public performance, and some changes have been wrung in the group’s improvisational approach. The making of Jarrett’s acclaimed solo album "The Melody At Night, With You" has influenced the way his Trio now approaches ballads. And the uptempo numbers have a new buoyancy.

Featured Artists Recorded

July 1999, Palais des Congrès, Paris

Original Release Date

09.10.2000

  • CD 1
  • 1Bouncin' with Bud
    (Earl Bud Powell, Walter Gilbert Fuller)
    07:10
  • 2Whisper Not
    (Leonard Feather, Benny Golson)
    07:48
  • 3Groovin' High
    (Dizzy Gillespie)
    08:04
  • 4Chelsea Bridge
    (Billy Strayhorn)
    09:17
  • 5Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
    (Billy Moll, Ted Koehler, Harry Baris)
    05:30
  • 6Round Midnight
    (Cootie Williams, Thelonious Monk)
    06:26
  • 7Sandu
    (Clifford Brown)
    06:43
  • CD 2
  • 1What Is This Thing Called Love
    (Cole Porter)
    11:49
  • 2Conception
    (George Shearing)
    07:46
  • 3Prelude To A Kiss
    (Irving Gordon, Irving Mills, Duke Ellington)
    07:29
  • 4Hallucinations
    (Earl Bud Powell)
    05:59
  • 5All My Tomorrows
    (Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen)
    05:45
  • 6Poinciana
    (Buddy Bernier, Nat Simon)
    08:37
  • 7When I Fall In Love
    (Edward Heyman, Victor Young)
    07:23
 
 
Musica Jazz, Album of the Year
Diapason d'Or
Jazzman, Choc du mois
Stereoplay, CD des Monats
Fono Forum, Stern des Monats
Stereo, CD des Monats
 
The Keith Jarrett Standards Trio was perhaps the best jazz band of the nineties. … Listening to the trio play "Poinciana," "Prelude to a Kiss," "Groovin'High" and eleven others, you hear an evolution of modernity that makes you happy to be alive in the modern world. Their swing is elastic to the breaking point. Melodic and harmonic variations are extended almost to the point of creating another song. Indeed, another form.
 
 
 
Mike Zwerin, International Herald Tribune
 
Seit The Melody At Night, With You spielt Jarrett Balladen noch inniger als zuvor, noch sparsamer: Die jüngste Doppel-CD, die erste nach seinem Verschwinden von der Szene, der Mitschnitt eines Konzerts in Paris, setzt diese neue Bescheidenheit fort - und einen anderen Ansatz von Jarretts Radikalisierung der melodischen Eigentlichkeit. Er war immer der Meinung, dass - Postbop hin, Neotraditionalismus her - von den Möglichkeiten des Bebop gerade die Spitze des Eisbergs erforscht wurde. Nun lotet er tiefer. Und er spielt zwei Meisterwerke von Bud Powell, wie der (auch ein vom Schicksal geschlagener) sie selbst gehört, aber nicht gespielt hat. Er lotet Monks zur Nachtclub-Schnulze abgewetztes »Round Midnight« aus als einen geheimnisvollen dunklen Raum, spielt Benny Golsons »Whisper Not« und Tommy Flanagans »Chelsea Bridge« und Ahmad Jamals »Poinciana« und erfindet überhaupt neu, was wir längst für erfunden hielten. Sich selbst auch.
 
 
 
Peter Rüedi, Die Weltwoche
 
Whisper Not ist ein Meisterwerk, das einen, was immer man schon gehört hat, wieder das Staunen lehrt. Jarrett war nie vitaler, auch nicht zu Zeiten des legendären Köln Concert. Wie die Virtuosität sich hier nie selbst feiert, sondern immer nur als das gerade notwendige und dem oft bizarr rankenden Einfall dienende Handwerkszeug wirkt, ist grandios.
 
 
 
Ulrich Olshausen, FAZ
 
Nach einem Song von Benny Golson nannte Jarrett das neue Whisper Not - das ist zutreffend für lange Passagen des Konzertmitschnitts vom 5. Juli 1999 aus dem Pariser Palais des Congrès. Denn atemberaubend intensiv, dabei ungeheuer spontan und gefühlvoll improvisieren die drei über 14 Standardthemen, die sie mit einer Ausnahme noch nie gemeinsam eingespielt haben. … Ein Glücksfall.
 
 
 
Hans Sterner, Stereoplay
 
Auch einer wie Jarrett macht offenbar noch Reifeprozesse durch - und so sind gerade die wenigen leisen Stücke noch eine Spur feiner als früher. Der schönste Klassiker unter den langsamen Jazz-Standards, Thelonious Monks Komposition »Round Midnight«, wird mit ganz zarten Akkordfärbungen zum magischen Pianissimo-Gebet an die Nacht. Und nicht nur da hat Jarrett eine im Jazz immer noch konkurrenzlose Klangkultur: Jeder Ton ist mit untrüglichem Fingerspitzengefühl gespielt.
 
 
 
Roland Spiegel, Abendzeitung München
 
Die CD ist mit einer Wertung zu versehen, mit der Kritiker sehr, sehr sparsam umgehen sollten: Sie ist eine Sensation. … Jarrett sprüht förmlich vor Energie, die er mit seinen Partnern zum klingenden Wetterleuchten verdichtet. Und er spielt mit einer Mischung aus Konzentration und Leichtigkeit, die selbst für ihn ungewöhnlich ist.
 
 
 
Hanspeter Vetsch, Cash
There have been many exceptional recordings by the "Standards Trio" since the group was launched in 1983. This one, however, has particular significance for Keith Jarrett's vast audience. It is the first recording issued following the pianist's triumphant return to the concert platform after a three years absence. In that time, in the grip of a debilitating illness, he had been able only to complete the home-recorded and bare-boned "The Melody At Night, With You", a recording that turned adversity to ad-vantage by focussing intently - as few jazz players ever had - on the melodic structure of American standards and folk songs. Paradoxically, this album, virtually stripped of improvisational content, turned out to be one of the great improviser's most successful albums.

Jarrett says that recording "The Melody At Night" transformed his approach to playing ballads. As he explained to England's The Guardian recently: "What I do is transform energy into music. So the quality of energy changed and I transformed what was left of that energy into something I wished I had been able to find before. When you have a lot of energy you tend to want to do a lot of things. I had only enough energy to do one thing, which made it more Zen-like -play the melody, but really play the melody.... I learnt something about playing the piano. The heart determines where the music comes from, and there was more heart in that recording than there was virtuosity, but what I had as a pianist I put into the heart place, and that can translate into other contexts." Keith Jarrett also took up this theme in an interview with American magazine Jazziz. "When the trio has been playing recently, the way we play ballads has changed. For me that's partly because of 'The Melody At Night, With You'. I'd had the need to play, but had an inability to be my old self. I had to reinvent how to play and get at least what I was used to getting from playing, and then I discovered I was actually getting more from less. In theory, I always knew that could be true, that it could be all about the melody."

And so it is that the ballads on the present set, recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience at Paris's Palais des Congrès have a special luminescence. Benny Golson's "Whisper Not", Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge", Monk's "Round Midnight", Heyman/Young's "When I Fall In Love" (still associated with, above all, the Bill Evans Trio"), and "All My Tomorrows" the Sammy Cahn/Jimmy van Heusen song that Shirley Horn has made her own - all of these are honoured as compositions, firstly, rather than as springboards for improvisation. Jarrett says "I've wanted to stick to the melody if I could get enough out of the melody. One of the things about jazz players who are mediocre is they wish the melody would go away: 'Let's play the melody, and then let's play.' It's a test of the player to be able to get something from the actual vehicle."

Uptempo tunes though - and particularly those created, in the first instance, to propel a bop soloist to heights of invention - are another matter. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette soar on Bud Powell's "Bouncin' With Bud" and "Hallucinations", Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High", and Clifford Brown's "Sandu"; this is bebop played at the highest level. Jarrett: "With bebop the phrasing is more like a voice phrasing, because most of the bebop players were horn players. I wanted to have a chance to phrase like that..." The goal, in fact, is to transform the idiom of Charlie Parker to the piano, and Jarrett is one of very few pianists with the fluency to achieve this.

The international press on the Standards Trio:

Los Angeles Times: "Very simply, this is jazz at its finest. The Jarrett Trio - with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette - has been one of the stellar examples of contemporary improvisation since the early 80s, producing a series of superb recordings filled with a repertoire of standards."

The Observer: "At their best, Jarrett, Peacock, and DeJohnette are matchless."

Jazzman (France): "This is the most exciting trio of the last 50 years."

Jazz Journal (UK): "Quintessential, joyously swinging evidence of the passion and intelligence that mark jazz at its best."

Time Magazine: "Beneath Jarrett's fluid fingers, the keyboard ripples spontaneously while his lyrical bassist, Gary Peacock, and elegant drummer, Jack DeJohnette, match him move for move. Heads nod approvingly as the melody is handed off from instrument to instrument, three men doing what they love best: making music with hand and heart "

L.A. Weekly: "Witnessing a performance from this trio is as close to divinity as many of us will ever get."