“This is a concert recording I was holding onto until the right moment presented itself. It shows the trio at its most buoyant, swinging, melodic and dynamic. (...) If jazz is about swinging, energy, and personal ecstasy for the player and the listener, I can think of no other single concert by the trio that expresses these qualities so completely and comprehensively. “
– Keith Jarrett in the liner notes.
“My Foolish Heart” documents the music made by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette at Montreux’s Stravinsky Auditorium in July 2001. It is an unusually encyclopedic performance, even by the trio’s criteria, and one that fairly romps through the history of jazz in celebratory spirit. There are tunes from some of the music’s masters – “Four” by Miles Davis, “Straight, No Chaser” by Thelonious Monk, “Oleo” by Sonny Rollins, “Five Brothers” by Gerry Mulligan. There is a characteristic scattering of standard tunes, too, including “What’s New”, “The Song Is You”, “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry”, “Only The Lonely” and “On Green Dolphin Street”, in each instance the musicians prise open fresh perspectives on familiar, and timeless, material.
Unique to this concert is the inclusion of three pieces in stride and ragtime styles, played with verve enough to conjure up the ghost of Fats Waller on “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, and “Honeysuckle Rose” (both Waller tunes) and on “You Took Advantage Of Me”, a Rodgers and Hart piece from the 1928 musical “Present Arms”: in total more than twenty minutes in the ragtime zone before the trio exits by way of Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser”, a further expression of the balance between joy, creativity and idiosyncratic humor that is specific to jazz.
Already in the sixties Jarrett sometimes incorporated ragtime elements in his freer pieces and compositions (his 1968 album “Somewhere Before” contains such instances), and he once told an interviewer that Scott Joplin would be his first choice of music for a desert island. But classic early jazz and the Harlem stride tradition are aspects of the music that the bebop-aligned ‘Standards’ trio with Peacock and DeJohnette had never addressed on disc - until now. Bassist and drummer, improvisers ready for any development when playing with Jarrett, swing resolutely behind the pianist on “Ain’t Misbehavin’”. Peacock even takes a stoic solo in this (for him) uncommon terrain, and in the closing section Jarrett and DeJohnette trade fours, to the evident delight of the crowd.
Jarrett: “It is a perfect demonstration of our commitment to jazz that these [ragtime pieces] do not come off as mimicry. They were as real and alive for us at the time as anything that came before or after. This, indeed, was a concert containing so much of the breadth of what we have been doing with ‘Standards’ these almost 25 years, that now is the time to hear it.”
“My Foolish Heart” is the 18th ECM release from the unit widely viewed as the world’s leading piano trio, now rapidly approaching its 25th anniversary: It was in January 1983 that Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette came together - with producer Manfred Eicher – a day before the now-legendary Power Station sessions which were to signal a re-immersion in the world of standards, and a reaffirmation of faith in the jazz tradition. Their first recording session brought forth three albums: “Standards Vol. 1", “Standards Vol. 2” and “Changes”. These first three discs will be reissued in January 2008 as a 3-CD box set, with the title “Setting Standards: New York Sessions”.