Monday, 15 August 2011

Jazz odyssey

My copy of Taschen's Jazz Covers has not, so far, thrown up any direct hits as far as the music is concerned. The only album featured in the book that I've bought is Monk Montgomery's Bass Odyssey - but I think that's because I was blown away by a couple of its tracks posted over on Aquarium Drunkard (I'm slightly embarrassed about how many records I've bought after hearing them there, I feel as though I'm being spoonfed). I don't think I'd have clicked play if I hadn't seen the sleeve in the book, so maybe we should chalk it up as a victory for Jazz Covers.

The plan is to give anything whose cover intrigues me a whirl and the inclusion of Keith Jarrett's Life Between The Exit Signs and Facing You led indirectly to his Restoration Ruin. I didn't know but Keith Jarrett is a top flight and rather scary pianist (he shouts at people who cough during his concerts). However, back in the day he recorded this album which, as a weird, folk type thing, is a complete aberration in his discography.

The delightfully Sixties sleeve notes describe it as, "Contemporary. Off-Beat. Very NOW". Richie Unterberger thinks it's only so so and the solitary Amazon commentator has some very harsh things to say about it. I, on the other hand, love it. Ramshackle and a bit whimsical he sounds like Arthur Lee a lot of the time and there's even a touch of Syd Barrett about the title track. The whole thing's got a sort of Sesame Street vibe to it.

Keith Jarrett All Right


  1. Gosh. There's a feeling of 'Basement Tapes' to 'John Wesley Harding' era Dylan about that too, and not just because of the harmonica. Not at all like the KJ I've heard, either.

  2. It certainly isn't, but I wasn't too grabbed by much of his other stuff to be honest (apart from Mortgage On My Soul, that's great).