April 2, 2018. Pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock, and drummer Jack DeJohnette have made music together for over 40 years. The sole exception was a two-year hiatus in the ‘90s when Jarrett’s health issues intervened. After the Fall (Live), recorded in 1998, immortalizes their first live performance after that pause and, well, let’s just say that for these guys, it was like getting back on a bike.
Known for playing standards, the trio kicks off the concert in Newark, New Jersey with “The Masquerade Is Over,” with each measure delightfully elongated by Jarrett’s improvisation. (We’re reminded of his 1983 version of “God Bless the Child” that crosses the 15-minute mark.)
Things quickly get shorter and faster as the group takes on “Scrapple From the Apple.” The trio continues to give the audience what they’ve come for—familiar tunes played in their own signature style. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” even makes an appearance on this two-disc set, and it’s a killer version. Listen for it on WRTI during the holidays.
If you’re a fan of standards, and skillful, artistic playing, give After the Fall a listen. It was a concert well worth documenting in 1998. Now, three decades later, it's a new release worth spinning.