Keith Jarrett

After hearing part of this on YouTube I just had to own this album. It comes in the series that ECM reissued for a low price. Packaged in a mini gatefold sleeve, Gnu High is too beautiful for words. Here is this gathering of brilliant musicians under the umbrella of Kenny Wheeler. Wheeler a stylist first, playing for the form, well articulated.

At the same time he restrains his high carat companions in a positive way it seems, earning the respect he deserves. Jarrett is here to accompany, still keen to interact but stretching out only when it's his turn to solo. Holland is a roadworthy companion, we know, and DeJohnnette's sometimes to pushy trademark playing is a little bit further away in the mix this time. Which is fine for this setting.

Sometimes ECM reveals hidden treasures from the vault. Keith Jarrett's new album was recorded way back in 1986 and can be considered a follow-up to 1985's  "Spirits". Both "Spirits" and "No End" showcase the artist as a multi-instrumentalist recording in his home studio and not as the fierce (solo)piano Don Quichotte. Guitars, fender bass, tabla and recorder, even drums and percussion, are his main instruments of choice this time.

According to Jarrett "There was really, to my knowledge, no forethought or composition – in the typical sense – going on; just a feeling or a rhythmic idea or a bass line concept or melody. None of this was written down". And more surprising: "I have always been drawn to instruments that you touch directly, without a mechanism in between. Therefore, I cannot say that I have ever loved the piano as much as the drums or guitar"

Keith Jarrett No End album cover