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Excellent survey of the many facets of (mostly) 70s Jarrett
Gavin Wilson | 05/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One way of regarding the the history of ECM records is by dividing it into Before and After Metheny. ECM never lost as big a star as Pat Metheny from its ranks, and at about the same time as his departure to Geffen, ECM issued mid-priced 'Greatest Hits' albums of many of its major artists (e.g. Garbarek, Towner, Frisell, Weber etc). This being 1985, the LP was still in its twilight years, so you only got around 45 minutes' worth of music, but oh, what heavenly music it is.It's impossible to sum Jarrett up in seven tracks, but these come from the period 1972-81, when his writing was at its peak. (He devoted most of the 80s and 90s to covering standards from the earlier part of the 20th century and classical baroque period.)The CD starts with a gorgeous tune from the Nordic quartet in which Jarrett replaced Bobo Stenson. The classic 'My Song' album also contributes the wonderful third track, 'The Journey Home'. There are a number of solo piano pieces too, but I found the unorthodox tracks the most interesting. The 1974 String Quartet excerpt from 'In the Light' was a forerunner for Jarrett's orchestrations on the classic 1976 work 'Arbour Zena'. And Jarrett's saxophone playing on 1981's 'Invocations' hadn't moved much beyond the technique he employed on his masterpiece, 'The Survivors Suite'. I still believe 'The Survivors Suite' to be the best jazz album of the 70s, but if you want an excellent, even if short and inevitably disjointed, introduction to the genius of Keith Jarrett."