Keith Jarrett : The Melody at Night, With You
Solo album recorded at his home studio in 1998
This solo recording is a fitting coda for Keith Jarrett's more restrained, less prolific output in the 1990s. The fitful vamps and long, ruminative improvisations that made Jarrett a solo piano star in the '70s are here either stillborn or tightly tethered to classic melodies from the likes of Gershwin and Ellington, yet there is not the slightest hint of repression. Instead, Jarrett sprinkles notes and brings the familiar strains of "I Loves You, Porgy" and "Someone to Watch over Me" to bloom with a dynamic but resonantly earth-toned vibrancy. Rarely has the pianist kept his music so simple and free of pageantry. Audible moans and shenanigans with the piano's sustain pedal are held to a minimum, and even brawny, sing-along stuff like "Shenandoah" and "My Wild Irish Rose" never lapse into sloppy sentimentality--indeed, Jarrett's two-handed caress of the latter song is so delicately self assured, the tune seems to play itself. Among the 10 tracks, only "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" finds the pianist stretching into busy (but still crisp) extended passages. Yes, there are moments when Melody's shimmering standards exude the glazed predictability of cocktail music in a hotel lobby. But those are far outnumbered by the cherished occasions when Jarrett's romanticism rings true. --Britt Robson
1. [5:44] I Loves You Porgy
2. [7:06] I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
3. [2:42] Don't Ever Leave Me
4. [5:00] Someone To Watch Over Me
5. [5:15] My Wild Irish Rose
6. [7:14] Blame It On My Youth / Meditation
7. [7:11] Something To Remember You By
8. [5:34] Be My Love
9. [5:46] Shenandoah
10. [2:57] I'm Through With Love
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