Whisper Not

This is a comeback album of a sort, the first live album Jarrett has made since his long bout with chronic fatigue syndrome and the first with his acclaimed "Standards Trio" since 1996. Two things are clear: Jarrett has as much energy now as he’s ever had, and he swings gracefully through such virtuosic bebop standards as "Bouncing with Bud" and "Groovin’ High." He also has a new approach to ballads. Where he used to use them as jumping-off points for extended melodic improvisation, he is now more likely to wring as much as he can out of the melodies themselves, an approach borne of the years he was struggling to play at all. Listening to what he does with the Thelonious Monk chestnut "Round Midnight" is revelatory—if you thought that one had been played to death, pick up this remarkable set and see how wrong you are.