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The Survivor's Suite

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 9, 2000
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$14.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock. Sold by Fulfillment Express US and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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The Survivor's Suite + Belonging + ECM Touchstones: Facing You
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Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Beginning27:12Album Only
  2. Conclusion21:18Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B0000261LI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,179 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Wilson on February 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In my CD collection, I have many from the 70s and 80s whose qualities diminish each time I pull them out for another spin. ("What on earth did I see in that one??" is a familiar lament.)
Not the SURVIVOR'S SUITE. I must have played it a thousand times over the years, and each time I hear new things in this outstanding album. It's the usual purchase history: taped it off a friend at uni in 1977, persuaded my brother to buy it on LP in the vac, bought my own copy of the CD in the 80s, still waiting for ECM to reissue on SACD (or at least remastered) in the 00s.
Not for nothing was this voted the Melody Maker's Jazz Album of the Year in 1977.
I just finished playing it again today, and my area of intrigue is another tiny detail: was it over-dubbed? This would be unusual for a Jarrett album, but there are passages where Jarrett appears to be playing both soprano sax and bass recorder. (And you thought this was going to be just another piano album?!)
The extraordinary thing about this album -- which has always been in my all-time Top Ten -- is that there are passages which I regard as almost unlistenable. But those noisy, free-jazz sections serve only to accentuate the total beauty of the quiet pieces which follow them.
There is so much going on in this album. There's more than a hint of world music. Paul Motian's drum-playing is extraordinary, and a source of inspiration for anyone worried that their creativity might dry up in the forties. Haden's bass is fantastic -- utterly dependable whenever Jarrett needs to swing, yet rich in emotion when required to perform a solo or the closing coda of each track. Redman, though primarily a saxophone player, actually gets to play more percussion than sax on this album.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A. Stan Davis on July 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
It is a personal requirement that I listen to this recording at least once a month. This music takes me to places I have never been before and I always return with a refreshed point of view. Jarratt & company explore the full range of human emotions on this beautiful masterpiece. From a soft and tender relaxing vibe to a full blown controlled rage, this music parallels the experience of life - its'ups and downs and ebbs and flows. It is something to experience often. The long winding suite starts out slow, builds to a boil and then mellows out before exploding into what can only be described as an emotional storm. When the music final ends, you have been through an emotional roller-coaster. I have over 25 Jarratt recordings in my collection and each one offers a diverse and unique listening experience, but this one goes to the proverbial desert island with me along with Wayne Shorter's "Native Dancer" and Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue. This recording is appropriately titled "Survivors Suite," because if you "get it" you will be completely exhaused after you "survive it" - but you will have a big smile on your face when you finish. After almost 25 years, this music is still fresh and exciting. Thanks for the experience Keith. Peace!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Wilson on November 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Keith Jarrett has recorded many fine albums, but this is simply the finest jazz record I know. It takes some getting into, but many people start with the beautiful piano run that starts at about 4:30 in Part 2. (This album has just two tracks, which may make it seem daunting.)
Jarrett worked with two quartets in the mid-70s: a European one with Jan Garbarek on sax, and this, the American one, with Charlie Haden on bass and Dewey Redman on sax. The differences between the two are enormous, but both produced wonderful albums.
On this, released after the US quartet had broken up, Jarrett experiments with the bass recorder and celeste, to entrancing, mystical effect. It seems ridiculous to suggest it, but could Jarrett have been trying to ape (purely in marketing terms) Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' by way of his multi-instrumentalism and two-tracks-to-an-album structure?
That is sheer whimsy. What is not in doubt is that from the moment you start getting into this album, you have before you many years of listening pleasure. If you like any sort of intelligent music and can cope with the occasionally raucous sax, you will love this album. Charlie Haden's bass coda at the end of each track are alone worth the price of the CD. Magnificent!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G B on April 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album is the best-known of the dozen or so recorded by Keith Jarrett's American Quartet, probably due to the fact that it appears on the same label as his most popular work (ECM). Though the group was often supplemented by one or two percussionists, only the group's core of Jarrett, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian appears here. It was recorded near the end of the group's 6 year life, and is arguably the last great album the group recorded. (They'd go on to record Bop Be and Byablue for Impulse, and the disappointing Eyes of the Heart for ECM.)

It's also, without a doubt, the most compositionally ambitious and dense album Jarrett made with this lineup. It's different in tone than their other albums -- there isn't too much of the free-wheeling looseness, funky gospel roots, vibrant swing, or general sense of fun that characterizes those recordings. Other elements of the group's sound appear here -- cascading rubato ballads (two of them on "Beginning"), the world-music-flavored collective improvisation that opens the album, free jazz (the first few minutes of "Conclusion"), and interplay between Redman's tenor and Jarrett's soprano saxophones. The suite even recycles a theme from an earlier album ("Great Bird", from Death and the Flower), though it's given a very different reading here. These elements might surprise someone who comes in expecting the Jarrett of the European Quartet, the Standards Trio or the marathon solo concerts.

As far as the performances, Dewey Redman is superb here. He gets four or five excellent solos, and his intense wailing over the rumbling rhythm section in the last few minutes is my favorite part of the album.
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