Fort Yawuh

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Fort Yawuh
Fort Yawah.jpg
Live album by Keith Jarrett
Released 1973
Recorded February 24, 1973
Venue Village Vanguard in New York
Genre Jazz
Length 41:40; 2 CD-reissue 129:26
Label Impulse!
Producer Ed Michel
Keith Jarrett chronology
Facing You
Fort Yawuh
In the Light

Fort Yawuh is an acoustic jazz album by American pianist and composer Keith Jarrett.[1] Originally released in 1973 by Impulse! Records, it features a live performance recorded at the Village Vanguard on February 24, 1973, by Jarrett, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, and Danny Johnson. The title is an anagram of the phrase "Fourth Way."

Critical reception[edit]

In a contemporary review for Creem, Robert Christgau gave Fort Yawuh an "A–" and said although side one sounded like cluttered free jazz at first, it was highlighted by the Ornette Coleman-like playing of saxophonist Dewey Redman. He found side two more accessible because of drummer Paul Motian's performance during "De Drums" and the attractive composition of "Still Life Still Life".[1] In a retrospective review, Allmusic's Qa'id Jacobs gave the record four out of five stars and wrote, "Fans of Jarrett's avant-garde liberalism will find 'De Drums' to be the track most unlike the other four selections on this album. 'Still Life, Still Life' is more like a ballad in that it's very slow, but it still maintains the structural freedom featured in the 'Fort Yawuh,' '(If the) Misfits (Wear It),' and 'Roads Traveled, Roads Veiled.'"[2] The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide (1985) also gave it four stars.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions are written by Keith Jarrett.

Original Release[edit]

Side One[4]

No. Title Length
1. "(If the) Misfits (Wear It)" 10:10
2. "Fort Yawuh" 10:55
Total length: 21:05

Side Two

No. Title Length
1. "De Drums" 11:57
2. "Still Life, Still Life" 8:38
Total length: 20:35

Extended Release[edit]

The CD box set The Impulse Years: 1973-1974 expands Fort Yawuh to two CDs, including unedited versions of the takes chosen for the LP as well as additional tracks.[5]

Disc One

No. Title Length
1. "(If the) Misfits (Wear It)" (includes material not included in originally released version) 12:58
2. "Fort Yawuh" (includes material not included in originally released version) 17:41
3. "De Drums" 11:53
4. "Still Life, Still Life" 8:37
5. "(If The) Misfits (Wear It)" (previously unreleased) 13:24
Total length: 64:33

Disc Two

No. Title Length
1. "Whistle Tune" (previously unreleased) 2:29
2. "Spoken Introduction" (previously unreleased) 2:12
3. "Angles (Without Edges)" (previously unreleased) 14:17
4. "Roads Traveled, Roads Veiled" (previously unreleased in this length; a shortened version of 9:30 has appeared in other reissues by Impulse!) 20:25
5. "De Drums (excerpt)" 7:27
6. "Melting The Ice" (previously unreleased) 18:03
Total length: 64:53
  • All tracks were recorded at the Village Vanguard on February 24, 1973.


At that time percussionist Danny Johnson has previously not been a professional musician. In an interview led by Ethan Iverson bassist Charlie Haden recalled that Johnson "is a great, great painter, and a great friend, and someone who was at EVERY gig, and one day he suddenly asked to sit in with us at the Village Vanguard. Keith asked, “What do you play?” “Triangle!” said Danny Johnson. Keith said yes and Danny came down with a big oriental rug and sat like a sitar player with his triangle. And that was the night we recorded Fort Yawuh."[6] One year later Johnson joined the group again on percussion (along Guilherme Franco) - this time for the studio recording of Treasure Island.[7]



  1. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 1974). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ Jacobs, Q. Allmusic Review accessed September 12, 2011
  3. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 112. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  4. ^ Fort Yawuh at Discogs
  5. ^ Fort Yawuh at Discogs
  6. ^ Ethan Iverson (March 2008). "Interview with Charlie Haden". Do The Math. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Jazz Discography Project. "Keith Jarrett Discography". Retrieved 19 November 2016. 

External links[edit]