The names are legendary: pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock, and drummer Jack DeJohnette. All three have been a part of countless classic jazz recordings, whether it be together as their trio, solo, or contributing to other groups, for many, many years. The trio have been recreating jazz standards together for quite some time now, and if you've had the chance to listen to previous live albums from their 2001 tour, Yesterdays is the continuation of that fine series, and celebrates the 25th anniversary of the trio in 2008.
It's not every artist or group that can take such beloved standards as "Stella By Starlight", Horace Silver's "Strollin' ", Dizzy's "Shaw 'nuff", or the rollicking Richard Rodgers piece "You Took Advantage of Me", and make them their own, but this trio certainly does just that, injecting plenty of bebop, ragtime, and New Orleans flavor to these timeless numbers. With the locked in rhythms from Peacock and DeJohnette grooving along, Jarrett is able to mesmerize with his elastic melodies on the bouncy & complex "Scrapple From the Apple" and the already mentioned rippers "Strollin' ", "You Took Advantage of Me" and "Shaw 'Nuff". These songs are given plenty of life and show a trio that seems to be working telepathically and firing off on each other like a well oiled machine. If you dig the more tender aspects of jazz, look no further than the gorgeous "You've Changed", the tender "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", and the calming title track, with Peacock's yearning double bass notes and DeJohnette's barely audible drum licks providing the backdrop for Jarrett's charming yet somber melodies. It's almost fitting that "Stella" closes this set, as the trio never fails to impress with an already outstanding collection of songs by closing the show with perhaps the most famous jazz standard of them all. The dueling solos from Peacock and DeJohnette on this one are breathtaking, as their rapid fire bursts separate some magical notes from the always on top of his game Jarrett.
In short, this is beautiful stuff by three legendary musicians who not only can provide honest and familar renditions of treasured jazz classics, but inject their own personalities into them with a flair for improvisation that is unmatched. Quite enjoyable indeed.
2. You Took Advantage of Me
5. You've Changed
6. Scrapple from the Apple
7. Sleepin' Bee, A
8. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
9. Stella by Starlight