Keith Jarrett / Jack DeJohnette / Gary Peacock Yesterdays

Keith Jarrett / Jack DeJohnette / Gary Peacock Yesterdays
What separates these masters from most jazz musicians who choose to play from the American songbook and songs from jazz's golden past is that they aren't trying to recreate that past. Instead, like gardeners with heirloom seeds who lovingly water and tend their crop, miraculously what was old and dead comes alive, a new incarnation entirely. Jarrett and company aren't ancestor worshippers. Instead, as is evident in every eloquent melodic phrase, every witty rhythmic exchange, every unexpected chord substitution, these guys are seeking, and finding, the transcendent, in-the-moment flashes of self-revelation that render this music forever new, forever now. The giants of jazz loom, to be sure, whether in the joyous convolution of Bud Powell and Fats Waller, with hints of Eubie Blake, maybe, in the opening of Dizzy Gillespie's "Shaw'nuff," the luminous Bill Evans lyricism of "Yesterdays" or the off-beat, Paul Bley-ish deconstruction of Charlie Parker's "Scrapple from the Apple." These three bring what is most relevant and alive about this music from the past into the here and now: the opportunity to sing one's own songs within the continuity and spiritual resonance of one's predecessors. With a title like Yesterdays, listeners could be forgiven for expecting a nostalgia-fest. Recorded live in Tokyo, this CD is very much music of today. (ECM)