A surprising recording emerged late last week of the Keith Jarrett Trio playing Bob Dylan tunes. Apparently, back in 1968, Jarrett together with Paul Motian and Charlie Haden did a trio recording for Vortex [Vortex LP 2012] called Somewhere Before and recorded two Dylan numbers – My Back Pages and Lay Lady Lay. This long out-of-print record was issued on CD in 1990 and Amazon still lists it for sale but we haven’t tried yet.
Anyway, this live recording [the original LP was also a live recording but different time and place] is by a different trio that includes Gus Nemeth [bs] and Bob Ventrello [drms]. It took place a year later in Denmark and comes from a very good FM source. This is the fixed version with the correct speed.
What was Jarrett thinking playing Bob Dylan in Europe? Clearly the free jazz movement had failed to gather mass appeal, not that that was its intent. Even Miles Davis by ’69 was conceding that jazz was no longer “king” and concessions had to be made to rock music.
But the less than energised reading of the two Dylan tunes suggests that Jarrett was uncomfortable covering rock. It was to be a difficult time for jazz musicians. In hindsight, their golden age had passed and the ’70s offered a marriage of convenience called jazz fusion. Even worse, along came jazz lite and Kenny G.
Since that time even more concessions have been made. Classical music and jazz. A whole new constellation of jazz singers with an eye on pop singles. Jazz as conservative music. Whatever happened to the shock and awe of free jazz?
This was originally shared by ricola. In turn it was speed corrected by Perv/twat Production. Thanks to all who shared this rarity. Never officially released before. (Professor Red/Big O)
Keith Jarrett (piano, saxophone)
Gus Nemeth (bass)
Bob Ventrello (drums)
01. Pretty Ballad (Jarrett) 5.57
02. Lay Lady Lay (Dylan) 4.42
03. Unknown Title 12.05
04. My Back Pages (Dylan) 7.01