This was not really official until now, but Keith Jarrett has apparently confirmed that the Standards Trio is no more. Here’s the relevant excerpt from an interview published in the latest issue of Jazzwise:
“I don’t have a trio now so… all I know is that I’m not going to look for other guys who I would need 30 years to get as good as we got, that’s the biggest problem of all. How much rapport and understanding we had, it’s unmatched anywhere I think.”
This is corroborated by another interview (or a translation of the same interview?) published in the latest issue of Jazz Magazine.
The last concert with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette took place on November 30, 2014 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, not too far away from Oxford Township, where Jarrett lives, incidentally (?).
Thanks to Luca, Adrian, and Rick for the information.
This is very sad news, although it had to come eventually. Keith Jarrett’s trio playing, or standards playing, completely spoiled me for any other jazz pianist. I would try going back: a listen to Oscar, but too busy. Art Tatum, incredible technique, but it never made my skin prickle or broke out a smile. Chick Corea, different and interesting, but after a while, one dimensional. Bill Evans, the closest to any of them that could rival Jarrett for beauty, but even Bill could leave you cold, as if he was sometimes going through the motions. Bard Mehldau, unusual, but always trying too hard to be unusual and for a while, satisfying. But then I’d come back to Jarrett’s playing, and it would be returning to perfection and bliss, home again, home again. Keith Jarrett has done what every artist strives to do: changed the world, created beauty out of nothing. Thank you, Mr Jarrett.
Keith Jarrett mentioned the end of the trio also in his interview with the french Jazz Magazine Nr. 672, Mai 2015: when asked “What are your plans for the near future? It’s rumored that the trio formed with Gary Peacock an Jack DeJohnette for over thirty years has definitively stopped playing.” Keith Jarrett answered: “Yes, that’s right. Gary had hearing problems more and more handicapping. We have not really decided to stop our collaboration, it has just imposed on us. It’s been a little while it was brewing, we already had a break two years ago for the same reasons. This time the judgment is final. Jack had just taken the lead in starting collaborations with other musicians, now things are clear. But of course we remain friends.
The interview ends as follow: ”
Does this mean that you started to consider new collaborations?
No, I do not want to think about that right now. I do not know what I’ll do, I have no project, and frankly no particular desire to play with anyone right now. But that’s how it has always been. I do not like what is going to happen in my life, I like to be surprised.”
I recommend this release to every Keith Jarrett Fan. Alone the included CD with two encores from a Concert in Paris (25.10.1992, Salle Pleyel) is worth the money even if you don’t understand a word french.
P.S.: I attended his latest Solo Concert in Lucerne. It was just phenomenal, especially the first set. I shouldn’t wonder if this concert will be published sometime by ECM.
I joined this site, just to post on this topic.
First, Mike Ellis, your words are eloquent above and PERFECTLY describe my feeling on listening to Keith play. Especially the part about Bill Evans. Bill has been my “go-to” guy for a lot longer than Keith, but as I learned more about his life and addiction struggles, I can sense the gigs/albums where he was phoning it in just to feed his habit, etc.
Keith on the other hand, who can be very demanding of his listeners, treats every trip to his piano as a crucial piece of living for all involved.
This leads me into my second point. On a whim, more or less, I attended (what turned out to be) the second last gig of the Standards Trio. At the Chicago Symphony, October 19, 2014. My first time seeing any three of these guys perform. It was beyond stunning. Life changing, really. I had high expectations, and they were blown away. It felt like I was eavesdropping on the private conversation of kindred spirits. I guess I was…
And now to learn that these three will (probably) never play again, just cements it even more in my memory.
Here’s to hoping that this well recorded trio provides a steady stream of releasable music for years to come.