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KEITH JARRETT - Fort Yawuh cover
4.02 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews
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Live album · 1973


A1 (If The) Misfits (Wear It) 10:10
A2 Fort Yawuh 10:55
B1 De Drums 11:57
B2 Still Life, Still Life 8:33

Total Time: 42:12

CD reissue(Impulse! ‎– 314 547 966-2,1999,US) track list:
1 (If The) Misfits (Wear It) 13:15
2 Fort Yawuh 18:22
3 De Drums 12:10
4 Still Life, Still Life 8:38
5 Roads Travelled, Roads Veiled 20:36


- Keith Jarrett / piano, soprano saxophone, tambourine
- Dewey Redman / tenor saxophone, musette, maracas
- Charlie Haden / bass
- Paul Motian / drums, percussion
- Danny Johnson / percussion

About this release

Impulse! – AS-9264

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, New York City on February 24, 1973

Re-released on CD by Polygram Records (1999,bonus track)

Thanks to snobb, silent way for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Throughout his lengthy career, Keith Jarrett has been one of the most important pianists of our time, but there was something different about his youthful playing that you don’t hear as much over the years. Before the Koln concert, the classical performances and the association with the somber 80s ECM sound, Jarrett’s playing was a lot funkier and bluesy soulful with plenty of gospel and roots country riffs to go around for everyone. Its from this earlier phase of his career that we get the loose, experimental and mostly high energy live concert known as “Fort Yawuh”. Joining Keith on this concert is his very talented, ‘American Quartet”, with Dewey Redman on tenor, Charlie Haden on bass and Paul Motian on drums. Part-time member, Danny Johnson, joins on percussion.

The album starts with the free post bop of “If the Misfits (Wear It)”, which opens with what sounds like the musicians imitating a North African field recording before going into high speed free-bop mode. Keith’s piano runs are both lightning fast and harmonically interesting at the same time. Dewey follows him with a strong tenor solo that shows the Coltrane and John Gilmore influences of the time. The album title track follows, and features the piano trio in free mode, but when they kick into an African rock groove, Redman joins with a Chinese musette solo that works really well with this sort of non-western rhythm. Side two kicks off with the gospel groove of “De Drums”, halfway through the track the rhythm picks up the tempo as Redman leads the band in a high energy soul jazz romp. Album closer “Still Life, Still Life”, is a ballad, but during Jarrett’s opening solo improv, he takes the tune into some very complex twisting turning twelve tone treatments.

The salient features on this album are enthusiastic energy and an open mind towards any possible musical influence. This group pulls from all the various musical influences described above, yet all those influences come together to make one sound and nothing sounds contrived or unnatural. There is a real joy at work in this album that is rare to come by.
The only live recordings of Jarrett's so-called "American quartet" (and occasional participation percussionist Danny Johnson).Besides of his solo improv concerts and his better known (and commercially more successful) "European quartet" with Garbarek and other Nordic musicians, "American quartet" sometimes is overshadowed with no reason.

Musically quite similar to what is played with Garbarek and co., this album represents Jarrett "American quartet"'s strongest sides: all musicians are excellent improvisers, and they are not afraid to show it!Differently from Jarrett's albums recorded with Garbarek for ECM, this Impulse! label's debut is warmer, freer and much more risky. Based more on soloing than on interplays, four long album's compositions demonstrates great energy and inspiration. Usual Jarrett's love to melodies and classic influences in his techniques aren't such influential and don't push free jazz atmosphere to chamber frames (as happens quite often with Jarrett recordings). At the same time, album is still very Jarrett's: there are plenty of tunes,even ballad presented, and his piano quite often sounds more classic-influenced,than jazz.Fortunately, live recordings atmosphere and lot of other musicians improvs give strong alternative and it really help to have balance on the avant-garde jazz side.

If you like me prefer improvs jazz and free atmosphere against framed well structured (and often too formal and boring) compositions, I expect this only live Jarrett "American quartet's" release is possibly one of the best his album for your taste.

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  • Straight11travis
  • KK58
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