Somewhere (ECM)

Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette

Released May 24, 2013

DownBeat Five-Star Review




“This formation remains one of the best, not just of this, but of all times,” wrote Jürg Meier, reviewing the Luzern concert of Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. “Their engagement with the Great American Songbook, the standards of jazz, is exemplary in the simultaneity of absolute respect for the material and absolute freedom in dealing with it.“ The songs are honoured for their melodic strengths and credited with sufficient robustness to support fiery improvisation that scales a heaven of invention.
The Luzern set (recorded July 2009) finds Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette improvising on some celestial themes. The entry point, Jarrett’s solo meditation “Deep Space”, already breathes the air of another planet, and opens up a flight path for Miles Davis’ “Solar”. That blues-drenched standard, historically famous in the interpretations on Miles’s “Walkin’” and Bill Evans’ “Sunday At The Village Vanguard”, has been a favourite vehicle for the trio. Endlessly manoeuvrable in the hands of these players, it has suggested a sphere of emotion to negotiate, as well as a point of departure for new music. While there are several earlier recorded versions in the trio’s discography (including on “Tribute”, and the “Live in Japan 93/96” DVD): the Luzern version may be the most satisfying yet, exhilarating from the outset.
“Stars Fell On Alabama”, one of the few ballads about meteor showers, follows. Beautifully delivered in the past by artists from Billie Holiday to Cannonball and Coltrane, Jarrett’s shimmering interpretation has the stars falling in slow motion. Not everything adheres to the freely-associative empyrean lyrical subtext: Harold Arlen’s “Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” looks in the opposite direction, with a stoical good humour that acknowledges Thelonious Monk’s take on this great tune first popularized by Cab Calloway and by Louis Armstrong.
A version of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” evokes a world of peace and quiet and open air which Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette explore until they cross into new territory, with an “Everywhere” like a tribal dance: classic Jarrett ritual music which would not have been out of place on the “Changeless” album. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung spoke of kontrollierter Ekstase – controlled ecstasy – to describe its ostinato-driven pulses. There is more Bernstein in a dancing version of “Tonight”, another song concerned with celestial signs, bright shining moons, and an absence of morning stars.
The closing encore “I Thought About You” makes an arc back to the Miles Davis references at the beginning. Miles played this on “Someday My Prince Will Come”, and it was in the Davis band book for years. Keith, Gary and Jack recorded it previously when paying tribute to Miles on “Bye Bye Blackbird”. The tune’s lyrics, by Johnny Mercer, famously written on a Chicago-bound train itemize the view from a carriage window: “Two or three cars parked under the stars / A winding stream / Moon shining down on some little town…”
The album “Somewhere” is issued in the thirtieth year of the “Standards” project. How do they keep it so fresh? Gary Peacock addressed the question in a Down Beat interview: “We don’t bother with concepts, or theory, or maintaining some image. That’s of no concern whatsoever. So what that leaves is everything. It leaves the music. Once you get to that point where you don’t feel like you have to make a statement anymore, you enter a space of enormous freedom.” A space where the music speaks for itself.

Track Listing:

1. Deep Space/Solar (Miles Davis / Keith Jarrett) 15:07

2. Stars Fell on Alabama (Mitchell Parish / Frank S. Perkins) 7:27

3. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler) 10:03

4. Somewhere/Everywhere (Leonard Bernstein / Keith Jarrett / Stephen Sondheim) 19:37

5. Tonight (Leonard Bernstein / Stephen Sondheim) 6:49

6. I Thought About You (James Van Heusen / Johnny Mercer) 6:30


Keith Jarrett: piano

Gary Peacock: double bass

Jack DeJohnette: drums

Recorded live July 11, 2009 at KKL Luzern Concert Hall

Producer: Keith Jarrett

Executive-Producer: Manfred Eicher

Engineer: Martin Pearson

Cover Photo: Mario Giacomelli

Design: Sascha Kleis


“You have to know the songs,” Oscar Peterson used to admonish budding pianists. His lesson: Only through intimate knowledge of harmony, melody and lyrical nuance can you render the songwriter’s hand invisible. For 30 years, Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette have been seizing ownership of standards, rendering them in a wide assortment of styles, depending on the mood of the moment. Since 1991, when the trio entered a studio to pay tribute to the recently departed Miles Davis, the band has recorded only live performances, and Somewhere—captured in 2009—is the first to be recorded since 2002. Opening with an abstract, rhapsodic solo “Deep Space,” Somewhere feels like it might veer into free territory, as 2001’s Inside Out did, but after three minutes Peacock and DeJohnette establish a sauntering pulse, and by the 11-minute mark the trio is grooving hard on Davis’ “Solar,” with Jarrett executing some exhilarating runs. The “Somewhere”/“Everywhere” medley also covers broad territory, but in a different direction. From a gentle, sublime reading of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim theme, Jarrett shifts into one of his long, gospel-tinged vamps—a slow-burning build filled with ecstatic releases, and a textbook illustration of DeJohnette’s creativity. As Jarrett’s other endeavors have receded and the trio has grown into one of the jazz world’s most sought-after concert acts, the unit has become a vehicle for the pianist’s various signatures. In fact, Somewhere serves up a cross-section of pianistic styles beyond Jarrett’s native devices, touching on stride for a highly percussive “Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” and bop for a steaming “Tonight.”

James Hale (DownBeat)