This release by Keith Jarrett's celebrated Standards Trio in the group's 30th year was recorded live four years ago – so it's safe to say that the fastidious leader must now be happy with this set of improvisations on classics, including the West Side Story title track, Miles Davis's Solar, and two originals. The trio has demonstrated the ambiguities in its name by exploring standards as well as free improv over the years, but song-forms are dominant here – often developed with almost venomous relish by Jarrett and imaginative (if occasionally loosely pitched) regular rejoinders from bassist Gary Peacock, underpinned by drummer Jack DeJohnette's mix of stinging power and subtle support. Deep Space makes a seductively glimmering overture, before Solar comes in almost sleepwalkingly off the pulse – the trio constantly suggesting swing but subverting it, before Jarrett hurtles off into a blistering groove. He arrhythmically juggles the melody of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, before DeJohnette drives up the tempo; Somewhere segues into Jarrett's own Everywhere (on which he eventually gets funky over a rocking, Mehldau-like vamp); West Side Story's Tonight is played fast, and I Thought About You makes a sumptuously tender finale. It's not quite as varied as its predecessor Yesterdays, and Jarrett's groaning is alarmingly louder than ever, but it's still improvised piano-trio music of a standard few can touch.
Keith Jarrett/Standards Trio: Somewhere – review
John Fordham is the Guardian's main jazz critic. He has written several books on the subject, reported on it for publications including Time Out, Sounds, Wire and Word, and contributed to documentaries for radio and TV. He is a former editor of Time Out, City Limits and Jazz UK, and regularly contributes to BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3