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Keith Jarrett Trio at UCLA’s Royce Hall

Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett and Gary Peacock

Miraculously, time both stands still and is constantly evolutionary in the case of Keith Jarrett’s so-called “Standards” trio, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Sure, 25 is just a number, but it’s a remarkable one, making this grouping-a model of empathy between Jarrett and his tight allies, drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock-not only one of the longest-lasting in jazz history, but quite possibly the greatest jazz ensemble in existence at this historical moment. And they did it with standards. Go figure.

They’re still doing it, perhaps stronger than ever. During a long and inspired March evening at UCLA’s Royce Hall (one of the more complementary and acoustically friendly of American venues for this group), the Jarrett trio laid out one of the official first concerts in its 25th-birthday year, and handily demonstrated the staggering staying power connected to the reverse radicalism of their 1983 ECM debut. Back then, our senses reeled: How dare these famed jazz musicians stoop to playing standards, in a time of transitional vertigo in jazz. But those sessions now play like one of the most epiphanic and prophetic moments in the music’s history.

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