This release has been ‘resting’ in the ECM vaults ever since it was recorded live in 1979 in Tokyo by Jarrett and his European quartet. This group recorded four albums between ’74 and ’79 but only three of them were released at the time. Sleeper finds Jarrett in the company of sax and flute player Jan Garbarek, double bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer/force of nature Jon Christensen. A group that sounds very different to the American quartet he worked with at the same time. The first disc opens with ‘Personal Mountains’, a high energy maelstrom where the rhythm section sweeps the soloists along with verve and gusto, Jarrett is clearly infected by this and plays his socks off. Garbarek does his level best to stay in the running but takes a few breaks to play percussion and “listen in awe” as he put it.
The rest of the performance takes in all manner of moods and includes flute and bowed double bass, as well as lots of shakers, maracas etc – three of the four musicians are credited as percussionists. This was a highly articulate and dynamic band that was positively vibrating with ideas, it’s surprising that this performance has taken so long to emerge. JK