With Eyes Of The Heart, musician’s musician Keith Jarrett landed one of his last American Quartet flights. This live performance, recorded just one month after The Survivors’ Suite, is a journey of a rather different stripe. Jarrett whoops with delight as he opens Part One in a delicate congregation of drums. The kalimba-like bass of Charlie Haden hops from one foot to another as Jarrett looses a soprano sax into the prevailing winds. Only later does the expected piano shine through his fingertips. Writ somehow large with modest articulations, his right hand brings gradual insistence until the melody and the moment become one, each frame sped into a single moving image. Part Two begins with more lovely pianism, this time with grittier chording and the added sheen of Paul Motian’s kit work. An insistent vamp unravels Dewey Redman’s dazzling alto, and cushions the applause that follow.
The tripartite encore is an uplifting, jaunty exposition. Some fantastic drumming in this track and elegant exchanges between soprano and alto dim themselves silent before the altar of Jarrett’s concluding piano solo.
Just when I think I’ve encountered the extent of Jarrett’s immeasurable talents, he surprises me with an album like this. It’s always a pleasure to hear his peripheral instrumental work, for his talents at the keyboard transfer effortlessly to reed by way of our grateful hearts. Perhaps the title is more than just a metaphor.