Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette: Standards I/II Tokyo (ECM DVD)
To mark the 25th anniversary of this possibly greatest of all piano trios, ECM has released a double DVD of two Tokyo concerts from 1985 and ’86.
For those of us for whom hearing Jarrett in the flesh is still a dream, these superbly filmed documents of sublime performances come as close as possible to a substitute.
The cameras are at the same time completely invisible and right in amidst the action. During a Jarrett solo his face will fill the screen and you can see every note written in his expression.
The interaction between the three is so subtle and so quick you need to be right up close to see it.
To hear this music on CD is to marvel at its musical intelligence; to see it on screen is to be reminded what physicality Jarrett puts into his playing.
In On Green Dolphin Street he is standing, crouching, swaying as he reaches the most intense and most soulful heights of his solo – and when the camera zooms in on his hands it is clear their sinews and muscles are vital to the precise articulation of his playing.
Gabrielle Mirabassi: Canto de Ebano (EGEA)
As the title suggests, this disc is a celebration of the wood that forms his clarinet – “that incredible, hard as stone, which neither burns nor floats…” as he describes it.
In a quartet with guitar bass and drums, his clarinet is indeed an extraordinary instrument. Mirabassi is something of a complete clarinettist – he clearly has the classical training that make his technique impeccable, but his jazz sensibilities keep him searching for the surprises in the music.
It’s a beautiful sounding group, with the wood of the double bass and guitar, the steel of the strings, and the metal and velum of the drums as crucial as the ebony of the clarinet.
Loads of Italian brio here.
Arun Ghosh: Northern Namaste (Camoci)
More clarinet here, this time from a British Asian perspective. Ghosh leads and also contributes some piano, and is joined by an eclectic mix – Idris Rahman from Soothsayers, Dr Das from Asian Dub Foundation, Jonathan Meyer from Teak Project, for example.
The music is by Ghosh or Rabindranath Tagore, but its South Asian starting point gets passed through hip-hop, pop, jazz and even dub-reggae filters along the way.
Oddjob: Sumo (ACT)
Jazz-rock is back and it’s not just produced by reformed originals like Return to Forever. Oddjob is a young quintet from Scandinavia of musicians who were inspired by playing with a wide range of big names from Fred Wesley and Eric Gadd to Sting and the Cardigans.
There are homages here to Joe Zawinul and Horace Silver, which show you which funky, soulful end of jazz they are coming from. There is also a cover of the traditional Where Did You Sleep Last Night.
But it is when they are just being themselves that Oddjob sound most enjoyable.
Try the grand finale, Nostradamus, for a good taster.