(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
Keith Jarrett-Piano, Soprano Saxophone, percussion
Dewey Redman-Tenor Saxophone, percussion
Paul Motian-Drums, percussion
Recorded Live at May 1976
During 1976, Keith Jarrett’s amazing American quartet was winding down to a close, but the band still had some fire in their bellies. Recorded in late 1976 in Japan, the band would go onto play an extended suite simply called “Eyes of the Heart”, in which the title track makes up the first two songs and the last track, a medley of three smaller pieces titled “Encore a/b/c”.
On the first part of the suite, the song starts off with bass legend Charlie Haden plucking his way amongst a smattering of percussion provided by Keith, Dewey and Paul, before a few minutes within the song Keith pulls out his soprano saxophone and plays his heart out on one of the most melodic solos he has ever recorded. Midway through the first track, the song quiets down with Dewey unconventionally playing an assortment of bells, and maracas, while the master and it two accompanists mellow their way through a lovely ending to the first part.
After a brief pause (or a change from track one to track two) the potent rhythm section is still playing away before Keith goes into a lovely piano solo. As the second part suite is ending, for those whom were wondering where the great reedman Dewey Redman was, the closing of “Part Two”, the solo that Dewey plays from this point on is literally one of the most body chilling solos that was ever recorded along with the ambience the concert hall, just further enhances the tonality of Dewey’s stunning reed solo making this moment worth the price of the CD alone.
After the ovation, the track (s) simply called “Encore (a/b/c)” the band is now full fledge, with each member of the quartet on their main instruments, for Bop-ish beginning to “Encore”, which ends with a drum solo by Paul. The second part of “Encore” starts off with Keith on the soprano saxophone and Dewey on tenor, and then things begin to heat up during the middle part of the improvisation, finally winding down to the last part of the suite, which is a lovely piano solo piece which calms the ambience down from the previous two pieces.
A remarkable testament to a highly experimental quartet captured at the top of their game, Eyes Of The Heart is a great album that proves that all of the jazz world did not have to sell out in order to make great music...