Personnel: Keith Jarrett (soprano saxophone, wood flute, piano, percussion); Davey Redman (tenor saxophone, percussion); Charlie Haden (bass); Paul Motian (drums, percussion); Guilherme Franco (percussion).
Recorded on October 9 & 10, 1974.
Keith Jarrett's American-based ensemble made a series of powerful recordings in the 1970s, of which this is one more essential title. The title track, at nearly 23 minutes long, is a gorgeously organic piece that grows from quiet beginnings to a triumphantly propulsive climax. Drummer Paul Motian and percussionist Guilherme Franco are dazzling here, as well as on the rhythmically based "Great Bird" (which finds Jarrett playing soprano saxophone along side Dewey Redman's tenor). "Prayer" is another of Jarrett's evocative and meditative pieces, with Charlie Haden's bass adding a rich counterpoint to the piano.
DEATH AND THE FLOWER is highly recommended, as are TREASURE ISLAND, SHADES, BACKHAND, and MYSTERIES. The quintet (and sometimes quartet) moves through a rich emotional landscape with quiet intensity, intuiting its members' moves with enduring grace.