Music News

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

With the notable exception of Charo, mellowness generally comes with age. This adage helps explain why the latest CDs by Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette, who played with Miles Davis during his most electric period, and Haden, the bassist on Ornette Coleman's early skronkfests, walk on the quiet side. Yet the subtle complexity of their artistry reveals a musical intelligence that's as fierce as ever.

Although The Out-of-Towners is dominated by standards such as "It's All in the Game," the title trio is hardly bound by tradition. For proof, check the Jarrett-penned title cut, which swings through a plethora of post-bop moods over the course of nearly twenty minutes. Haden, for his part, uses a lithe ten-piece band anchored by pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba to survey the music of Mexico. Tunes such as "De Siempre (Forever)" display a lush, semi-orchestral melancholy that's simultaneously contemporary and timeless.

The listening on these discs isn't as easy as it seems at first blush. And they're all the better for it.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts