Keith Jarrett again displays formidable classical chops in this rendering of the three Bach viola da gamba sonatas with violist Kim Kashkashian, but secure technique alone doesn't pull off a fully satisfying performance. His playing seems heavy-handed, a bit blurred in texture, and colorless here, with little of the rhythmic drive that you might expect from this musician, given his extensive jazz experiences. Rather, it is Kashkashian, using what one gathers is a modern viola, who shines the most brightly in this cycle, supplying the missing drive, lilt, and animation. Check out the lively Brandenburg Concerto-like vivace in the "G Minor Sonata" for a prime sample of her work.
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