"Nude Ants" is a true classic in Keith Jarrett's prolific live recordings. With his "European" Quartet, Jarrett released some very fine albums("belonging," "personal mountains"), one brilliant record("my song")before moving onto a Standards trio, more solo improv, and classical work in the 80's. But this 1979 album, recorded live at the Village Vanguard, is truly a live masterpiece. Jarrett contributes the 6 wonderful, and sometimes far-out compositions, which spring the band's amazing interplay into uncharted(but highly listenable)territories. Jan Garbarek is capable of a unique, beautiful tone or an angry snarl on Saxophone, while drummer Jon Christanson and bassist Palle Danielsson keep things funky and interesting. Jarrett is in superhuman form here, playing wild gospel, dark middle eastern, or bill evans esque chord voicings(in his own original style of course). Be warned:Keith was in a good mood-meaning there's alot of moaning, groaning, screeching and sighs here. It's not hard to ignore, and it actually proves the astounding energy of some of the tracks. "Chant of the Soil" is a menacing funk, with some great solos from Garbarek and Jarrett, and a wonderful percussion and drum duet between Christanson and(i believe) Jarrett towards the end. The energy on this one is infectious. "Innocence" is beautiful, Debussy like ballad, which shifts moods brilliantly. "Processional" is Jarrett's acoustic jazz version of Miles Davis' "He Loved Him Madly." Dark, and gloomy, this track is a group-improvisational triumph, with many different sections and interludes. Disc 2's opener "Oasis" continues the lenghy, slightly dark interplay of "Processional" this time with the music of the Middle East for inspiration. This is maybe the most complex and strange track on the album. "New Dance" is a joyful sophistacated jam, and a highlight of the album. It's also the title track if you think about it..."Sunshine Song" is homerun number 6 as compositions go on this album. Beautiful and haunting, is it a fitting closer for a somewhat dark live album. Overall "Nude Ants" isn't the place to start if you want to hear Jarrett's "European" quartet, but it is a funky, funky live album.
- 1.Disc -
1.Chant of the Soil 2.Innocence 3.Processional
- 2.Disc -
4.Oasis 5.New Dance 6.Sunshine Song
Keith Jarrett - piano Jan Garbarek - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone Palle Danielsson - bass Jon Christensen - drums