The Keith Jarrett Standards Trio gets back down to business with two CDs' worth of familiar and perhaps not-so-familiar tunes, recorded in one evening in Cologne, Germany. There is a concept this time, for all the standards carry a dedication to some jazz man or woman who performed them -- and they are not predictable choices; Lee Konitz for "Lover Man," "It's Easy to Remember" for John Coltrane, "All of You" for Miles Davis, etc.
Almost every number has a reflective solo piano introduction, with one of the notable exceptions being Jarrett's rolling, convoluted opening variations on "All the Things You Are" (Sonny Rollins). "Solar" (the Bill Evans tribute) has challenging, fractured interplay between Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock, and it directly segues into Jarrett's own obsessive "Sun Prayer," which seems to lose its way after a fine start.
The other Jarrett composition, "U Dance," a carefree folk-like tune with a rhumba rhythm, closes the concert with a tribute to no one in particular. While the Standards Trio rarely takes anything for granted, transforming everything in its path, the results are not quite as inventive here as on other releases, though Disc Two is clearly more interesting overall than Disc One.
Warning to the wary: Keith Jarrett, singer, is in rare groaning form on "I Hear a Rhapsody" and "Solar."
AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell [-]
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