Keith Jarrett’s best work is with his Standards Trio, with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette—though it probably wouldn’t be hard to get an argument favoring his solo concert discs. And his best Standards Trio disc may be “My Foolish Heart.” What lifts “My Foolish Heart” above the rest is wonderful songs, combined with a very upbeat vibe and a sense that the trio went out that night in Montreux with something to prove. In his liner notes for “My Foolish Heart,” Jarrett complains about the concert situations (heat, lighting, sound problems); then he and the trio went out and laid down transcendent performances, charged up by the adversity, and the desire to, as described in the recording’s liner notes, “…grab the audience by the throat and shake them into hearing what we were doing.”
They heard. They heard the Trio at it’s most vibrant, grabbing them by the collective throat with the ebullient Miles Davis-penned opener, “Four,” to an urgent take on the Sonny Rollins jewel, “Oleo.” The surprise of the package is the inclusion of a couple of Fats Waller tunes, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose,” along with Rodgers/Hart classic, “You Took Advantage of Me,” in the style, showcasing a rare stride side of the Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette team, with DeJohnette delivering a brief, bustling, Krupa-esque roll-and-tumble drum solo on “Honeysuckle.”
Two discs, an hour and forty-eight minutes of music, the Standards Trio in a particularly inspired mood. Yep, it’s their best.