Recorded in Tokyo's Orchard Hall before Japanese royalty and a packed house -- and released two years later while Keith Jarrett was out of action suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome -- the standards trio lives up to its formidable track record of consistency and then some. Jarrett and perennial cohorts Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette are, if anything, even sharper, swinging harder and more attuned to each other than ever. There was a stronger Latin subtext in Tokyo that night than usual; "I'll Remember April" opens with a long, spare drum solo and becomes a high-spirited calypso-flavored workout, and "Last Night When We Were Young" segues into a Jarrett boogaloo improv called "Caribbean Sky." Two bop standards touch off further electric sparks; there is a joyously funky "Billie's Bounce," and Jarrett really puts all of Bud Powell's imitators in the shade with his right-handed prowess on "John's Abbey." Even those who have assiduously collected all of the standards trio's voluminous output will find Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette speaking to them in fresh ways here.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell