Keith Jarrett (piano, percussion)
Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, percussion)
Palle Danielsson (double-bass)
Jon Christensen (drums, percussion)
In 1979 came the tour of Japan from which Personal Mountains and now Sleeper were drawn and, the following month, the New York concerts at the Village Vanguard that generated the Nude Ants album.
And then the story was finished. As Ian Carr was to observe in his Jarrett biography, The influence of this quartet is out of all proportion to its brief life. Musicians on all instruments have been influenced and inspired by Keith Jarrett s work in general, but also by this quartet in particular.
The European Quartet ceased to exist when it was at the height of its creativity. Sleeper confirms that this was indeed the case. --ECM Records
Sleeper is a significant addition to the group s small discography, until now comprised of the albums Belonging (1974), My Song (recorded 1977, released 1978), Nude Ants (recorded 1979), and Personal Mountains (1979, released 1989).
Throughout Sleeper exceptional improvisational exchanges, dynamic episodes of surging energy, and lyrical passages of wild beauty abound. The interplay between Jarrett and Garbarek is uncanny, and the Danielsson/Christensen rhythm team swings wildly and delightfully.
The Belonging quartet came together initially for the album of the same name, and the musical compatibility of its members was instantly striking. Jarrett had been well aware of these musicians since the late 1960s, had played with Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen in Norway, and his admiration for Jan Garbarek s saxophone approach had already led him to write the string music of Luminessence for Garbarek to play over.
In the five years between the first album and the end of the story Belonging played infrequently enough for Jarrett to tell one journalist that it was less an ensemble than a special event .
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