Somewhere Before – The Atlantic Years 1968-1975 Warner
This double-CD anthology straddles a hugely significant period in Jarrett’s then burgeoning career, during which he quit Charles Lloyd’s successful quartet in 1969, joined Miles Davis in 1970 and rapidly became an independent performer, leaving Davis in 1971. Bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian form, with Jarrett, the bedrock here; they’re on the tracks from the splendid trio albums Life Between the Exit Signs (four numbers), Somewhere Before (five) and The Mourning of a Star (four), and the quartet encounters with Dewey Redman on Birth (two) and El Juicio (three). The remaining four tracks come from the Gary Burton & Keith Jarrett album. It was an exciting time and it defined the emergence of a major talent, a true original, on the cusp of greatness and joyously tasting freedom. ECM was in the future, but this still sounds fresh.