KEITH JARRETT

Post Bop / Third Stream / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Avant-Garde Jazz / Hard Bop / Pop/Art Song/Folk / Fusion / Cool Jazz / 21st Century Modern • United States
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Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA) is an American pianist and composer. He is considered one of the most important jazz pianists, renowned for his elaborate solo improvisations.

He began piano lessons at the age of two and played for the first time on stage at the age of seven. In 1962 he played a self-composed two-hour concert, without the benefit of any prior formal instruction in orchestration or composition. After working with a wide variety of musicians, including Chet Baker, Lee Konitz and Art Blakey, he founded his own band in 1968 with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. In 1971-1976 Dewey Redman (saxophone) joined the group and they played under the name the American Quartet. His work with Miles Davis between 1969 and 1971 gave his career an additional boost and the oportunity to play solo concerts such as the "Köln Concert" (1975, Cologne,
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The Koln ConcertThe Koln Concert
ECM 1999
$12.10
$5.06 (used)
Sacred Hymns of G. I.  GurdjieffSacred Hymns of G. I. Gurdjieff
Reissued
ECM 2000
$8.75
$6.99 (used)
Munich 2016 [2 CD]Munich 2016 [2 CD]
ECM 2019
$23.49
J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I [2 CD]J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I [2 CD]
Decca 2019
$18.30
$18.30 (used)
The Melody at Night, With YouThe Melody at Night, With You
ECM Records 1999
$10.86
$2.72 (used)
Sun Bear Concerts [6 CD Box Set]Sun Bear Concerts [6 CD Box Set]
Box set · Reissued
ECM 2000
$85.43
$76.63 (used)
Solo Concerts: Bremen & LausanneSolo Concerts: Bremen & Lausanne
ECM 2000
$18.13
$17.03 (used)
Still Live [2 CD]Still Live [2 CD]
Reissued
ECM 2000
$21.00
$20.78 (used)
Arbour ZenaArbour Zena
ECM 2014
$15.32
$7.98 (used)
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KEITH JARRETT Discography

KEITH JARRETT albums / top albums

KEITH JARRETT Life Between the Exit Signs album cover 3.43 | 7 ratings
Life Between the Exit Signs
Post Bop 1968
KEITH JARRETT Restoration Ruin album cover 2.92 | 6 ratings
Restoration Ruin
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1968
KEITH JARRETT The Mourning of a Star album cover 3.70 | 5 ratings
The Mourning of a Star
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
KEITH JARRETT Birth album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
Birth
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
KEITH JARRETT Expectations album cover 3.41 | 11 ratings
Expectations
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
KEITH JARRETT Facing You album cover 3.67 | 12 ratings
Facing You
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1972
KEITH JARRETT Ruta And Daitya (with Jack Dejohnette) album cover 3.72 | 9 ratings
Ruta And Daitya (with Jack Dejohnette)
Post Bop 1973
KEITH JARRETT In the Light album cover 3.50 | 6 ratings
In the Light
Third Stream 1974
KEITH JARRETT Treasure Island album cover 3.21 | 9 ratings
Treasure Island
Post Bop 1974
KEITH JARRETT Luminessence (with Jan Garbarek) album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
Luminessence (with Jan Garbarek)
Third Stream 1975
KEITH JARRETT Backhand album cover 3.50 | 6 ratings
Backhand
Post Bop 1975
KEITH JARRETT Death and the Flower album cover 3.83 | 9 ratings
Death and the Flower
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
KEITH JARRETT El Juicio (The Judgement) album cover 3.48 | 6 ratings
El Juicio (The Judgement)
Post Bop 1975
KEITH JARRETT Arbour Zena album cover 3.81 | 14 ratings
Arbour Zena
Third Stream 1976
KEITH JARRETT Mysteries album cover 3.75 | 6 ratings
Mysteries
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
KEITH JARRETT Hymns - Spheres album cover 4.00 | 8 ratings
Hymns - Spheres
Third Stream 1976
KEITH JARRETT Shades album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
Shades
Post Bop 1976
KEITH JARRETT The Survivors' Suite album cover 4.08 | 12 ratings
The Survivors' Suite
Avant-Garde Jazz 1977
KEITH JARRETT Staircase album cover 4.07 | 7 ratings
Staircase
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1977
KEITH JARRETT Byablue album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Byablue
Post Bop 1977
KEITH JARRETT My Song album cover 3.95 | 11 ratings
My Song
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1978
KEITH JARRETT Bop-Be album cover 3.33 | 6 ratings
Bop-Be
Post Bop 1978
KEITH JARRETT G.I.Gurdjieff: Sacred Hymns album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
G.I.Gurdjieff: Sacred Hymns
Third Stream 1980
KEITH JARRETT Invocations / The Moth And The Flame album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Invocations / The Moth And The Flame
Third Stream 1981
KEITH JARRETT Keith Jarrett, Dennis Russell Davies ‎: Ritual album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Keith Jarrett, Dennis Russell Davies ‎: Ritual
Third Stream 1982
KEITH JARRETT Standards, Vol.1 album cover 4.28 | 9 ratings
Standards, Vol.1
Post Bop 1983
KEITH JARRETT Changes (with Gary Peacock & Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.06 | 8 ratings
Changes (with Gary Peacock & Jack DeJohnette)
Post Bop 1984
KEITH JARRETT Standards, Vol.2 album cover 4.38 | 8 ratings
Standards, Vol.2
Post Bop 1985
KEITH JARRETT Spheres album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Spheres
Third Stream 1985
KEITH JARRETT Spirits album cover 3.83 | 6 ratings
Spirits
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1986
KEITH JARRETT Book of Ways album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Book of Ways
Third Stream 1987
KEITH JARRETT J.S. Bach - Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Buch I album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
J.S. Bach - Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Buch I
Third Stream 1988
KEITH JARRETT J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Buch II album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Buch II
Third Stream 1991
KEITH JARRETT Keith Jarrett & Michala Petri ‎: Handel Sonatas album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Keith Jarrett & Michala Petri ‎: Handel Sonatas
Third Stream 1991
KEITH JARRETT Keith Jarrett & Michala Petri ‎: Bach Sonatas album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
Keith Jarrett & Michala Petri ‎: Bach Sonatas
Third Stream 1992
KEITH JARRETT J. S. Bach - The French Suites album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
J. S. Bach - The French Suites
Third Stream 1993
KEITH JARRETT Bye Bye Blackbird album cover 4.21 | 10 ratings
Bye Bye Blackbird
Hard Bop 1993
KEITH JARRETT Mozart: Piano Concertos K. 467, 488 & 595; Masonic Funeral Music; Symphony in G minor K album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Mozart: Piano Concertos K. 467, 488 & 595; Masonic Funeral Music; Symphony in G minor K
Third Stream 1996
KEITH JARRETT Mozart ‎– Piano Concertos K. 467, 488, 595 / Masonic Funeral Music K. 477 / Symphony In G Minor K. 550 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mozart ‎– Piano Concertos K. 467, 488, 595 / Masonic Funeral Music K. 477 / Symphony In G Minor K. 550
Third Stream 1996
KEITH JARRETT Mozart ‎– Piano Concertos K. 271, 453, 466 / Adagio And Fugue K. 546 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mozart ‎– Piano Concertos K. 271, 453, 466 / Adagio And Fugue K. 546
Third Stream 1999
KEITH JARRETT The Melody at Night, With You album cover 3.88 | 8 ratings
The Melody at Night, With You
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1999
KEITH JARRETT Jasmine (with Charlie Haden) album cover 4.00 | 8 ratings
Jasmine (with Charlie Haden)
Cool Jazz 2010
KEITH JARRETT No End album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
No End
Fusion 2013
KEITH JARRETT Keith Jarrett , Charlie Haden : Last Dance album cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
Keith Jarrett , Charlie Haden : Last Dance
Post Bop 2014

KEITH JARRETT EPs & splits

KEITH JARRETT live albums

KEITH JARRETT Somewhere Before album cover 4.08 | 6 ratings
Somewhere Before
Post Bop 1969
KEITH JARRETT Fort Yawuh album cover 3.98 | 8 ratings
Fort Yawuh
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
KEITH JARRETT Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne album cover 4.20 | 10 ratings
Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1973
KEITH JARRETT The Köln Concert album cover 4.73 | 32 ratings
The Köln Concert
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1975
KEITH JARRETT Sun Bear Concerts album cover 4.44 | 8 ratings
Sun Bear Concerts
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
KEITH JARRETT Eyes of the Heart album cover 4.33 | 6 ratings
Eyes of the Heart
Post Bop 1979
KEITH JARRETT Nude Ants (Live At The Village Vanguard) album cover 4.21 | 7 ratings
Nude Ants (Live At The Village Vanguard)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1980
KEITH JARRETT The Celestial Hawk album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
The Celestial Hawk
Third Stream 1980
KEITH JARRETT Concerts album cover 3.86 | 7 ratings
Concerts
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1982
KEITH JARRETT Standarts Live album cover 4.11 | 9 ratings
Standarts Live
Post Bop 1986
KEITH JARRETT Dark Intervals album cover 3.88 | 8 ratings
Dark Intervals
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1988
KEITH JARRETT Still Live album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Still Live
Hard Bop 1988
KEITH JARRETT Lou Harrison: Piano Concerto / Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Lou Harrison: Piano Concerto / Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra
Third Stream 1988
KEITH JARRETT J. S. Bach – Goldberg Variations album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
J. S. Bach – Goldberg Variations
Third Stream 1989
KEITH JARRETT Personal Mountains album cover 3.62 | 8 ratings
Personal Mountains
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1989
KEITH JARRETT Changeless (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.04 | 12 ratings
Changeless (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1989
KEITH JARRETT Tribute album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Tribute
Post Bop 1990
KEITH JARRETT Paris Concert album cover 4.50 | 14 ratings
Paris Concert
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1990
KEITH JARRETT The Cure album cover 4.40 | 5 ratings
The Cure
Post Bop 1991
KEITH JARRETT Vienna Concert album cover 4.12 | 8 ratings
Vienna Concert
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1992
KEITH JARRETT Dmitri Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Dmitri Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues Op. 87
Third Stream 1992
KEITH JARRETT Bridge of Light album cover 3.12 | 4 ratings
Bridge of Light
Third Stream 1994
KEITH JARRETT At the Deer Head Inn album cover 3.92 | 6 ratings
At the Deer Head Inn
Post Bop 1994
KEITH JARRETT At The Blue Note, Saturday, June 4th 1994, 1st Set album cover 4.57 | 7 ratings
At The Blue Note, Saturday, June 4th 1994, 1st Set
Post Bop 1995
KEITH JARRETT Standards in Norway (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.25 | 6 ratings
Standards in Norway (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1995
KEITH JARRETT At the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings album cover 4.71 | 7 ratings
At the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings
Post Bop 1995
KEITH JARRETT Händel  ‎– Suites For Keyboard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Händel ‎– Suites For Keyboard
Third Stream 1995
KEITH JARRETT Handel Suites for Keyboard album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Handel Suites for Keyboard
Third Stream 1995
KEITH JARRETT La Scala album cover 4.09 | 11 ratings
La Scala
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1997
KEITH JARRETT Tokyo '96 (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.36 | 7 ratings
Tokyo '96 (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1998
KEITH JARRETT Whisper Not (Live in Paris 1999) (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.50 | 7 ratings
Whisper Not (Live in Paris 1999) (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post Bop 2000
KEITH JARRETT Inside Out (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.39 | 9 ratings
Inside Out (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post Bop 2001
KEITH JARRETT Always Let Me Go : Live In Tokyo  (with Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette) album cover 3.80 | 5 ratings
Always Let Me Go : Live In Tokyo (with Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
KEITH JARRETT Up For It (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.40 | 5 ratings
Up For It (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post Bop 2003
KEITH JARRETT The Out-of-Towners (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) album cover 4.50 | 6 ratings
The Out-of-Towners (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
Post Bop 2004
KEITH JARRETT Radiance album cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
Radiance
Post Bop 2005
KEITH JARRETT The Carnegie Hall Concert album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
The Carnegie Hall Concert
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2006
KEITH JARRETT My Foolish Heart (with Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette) album cover 3.81 | 8 ratings
My Foolish Heart (with Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette)
Post Bop 2007
KEITH JARRETT Paris / London: Testament album cover 4.10 | 5 ratings
Paris / London: Testament
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2009
KEITH JARRETT Yesterdays album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Yesterdays
Post Bop 2009
KEITH JARRETT Rio album cover 4.50 | 6 ratings
Rio
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2011
KEITH JARRETT Sleeper album cover 4.64 | 7 ratings
Sleeper
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2012
KEITH JARRETT Somewhere album cover 4.20 | 5 ratings
Somewhere
Post Bop 2013
KEITH JARRETT Hamburg '72 album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Hamburg '72
Post Bop 2014
KEITH JARRETT Creation album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Creation
Third Stream 2015
KEITH JARRETT Samuel Barber / Bela Bartok album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Samuel Barber / Bela Bartok
Third Stream 2015
KEITH JARRETT A Multitude Of Angels album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Multitude Of Angels
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2016
KEITH JARRETT Solo Performance New York '75 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Performance New York '75
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2016
KEITH JARRETT Live At Gran Studio 104 In Paris June 9th 1972 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Gran Studio 104 In Paris June 9th 1972
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017
KEITH JARRETT After The Fall album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
After The Fall
Post Bop 2018
KEITH JARRETT Canada 84 Japan 86 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Canada 84 Japan 86
Post Bop 2018
KEITH JARRETT La Fenice album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
La Fenice
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2018
KEITH JARRETT J.S. Bach : The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (Concert Recording) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
J.S. Bach : The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (Concert Recording)
Third Stream 2019
KEITH JARRETT Live At Sendai Jazz Festival.Den-ryoku Hall.Japan.20.10.1986 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Sendai Jazz Festival.Den-ryoku Hall.Japan.20.10.1986
Post Bop 2019
KEITH JARRETT Munich 2016 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Munich 2016
21st Century Modern 2019

KEITH JARRETT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

KEITH JARRETT Solo Improvisations album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Improvisations
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1976
KEITH JARRETT Sun Bear Concerts (Excerpts) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sun Bear Concerts (Excerpts)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978

KEITH JARRETT re-issues & compilations

KEITH JARRETT Best of Keith Jarrett album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best of Keith Jarrett
Post Bop 1978
KEITH JARRETT Works album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Works
Post Bop 1985
KEITH JARRETT Silence album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Silence
Post Bop 1992
KEITH JARRETT Foundations: The Keith Jarrett Anthology (1966-1971) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Foundations: The Keith Jarrett Anthology (1966-1971)
Post Bop 1994
KEITH JARRETT Mysteries: The Impulse Years, 1975-1976 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Mysteries: The Impulse Years, 1975-1976
Post Bop 1996
KEITH JARRETT The Impulse Years, 1973-1974 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Impulse Years, 1973-1974
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
KEITH JARRETT Priceless Jazz Collection (aka The Seventies) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Priceless Jazz Collection (aka The Seventies)
Post Bop 1998
KEITH JARRETT Les incontournables: Le virtuose du piano album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Les incontournables: Le virtuose du piano
Post Bop 2000
KEITH JARRETT Rarum I: Selected Recordings album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Rarum I: Selected Recordings
Post Bop 2002
KEITH JARRETT The Seventies album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Seventies
Post Bop 2003
KEITH JARRETT Fort Yawuh / Death And The Flower album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fort Yawuh / Death And The Flower
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
KEITH JARRETT The Impulse Story album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Impulse Story
Post Bop 2006
KEITH JARRETT Somewhere Before: The Keith Jarrett Anthology - The Atlantic Years 1968-1975 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Somewhere Before: The Keith Jarrett Anthology - The Atlantic Years 1968-1975
Post Bop 2008
KEITH JARRETT Setting Standards: New York Sessions album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
Setting Standards: New York Sessions
Post Bop 2008
KEITH JARRETT Mysteries / Shades album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Mysteries / Shades
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
KEITH JARRETT Concerts - Bregenz / München album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Concerts - Bregenz / München
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2013
KEITH JARRETT Impulse Years 1973-1976 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Impulse Years 1973-1976
Post Bop 2014

KEITH JARRETT singles (0)

KEITH JARRETT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Standards II
Post Bop 1986
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Tribute
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2005
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
Tokyo Solo
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2006

KEITH JARRETT Reviews

KEITH JARRETT Bye Bye Blackbird

Album · 1993 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard
"We will never forget Miles."

Miles Davis died on September 28, 1991. The Keith Jarrett Trio rushed into the studio on October 12, 1991 and recorded this tribute album. As Miles Davis tribute albums go, it's really very good. The potential purchaser is advised that this album ranks rather high on the infamous Keith Jarrett vocalization spectrum. If you're a long time Jarrett listener and familiar with his singing, you should have no problem enjoying the album.

Among the highlights are "For Miles", an 18:39 improvisation with an utterly amazing Jack DeJohnette percussion performance, and one of the best ballads this group has ever done, "You Won't Forget Me". After 10:42 of awe-inspiring poignancy, however, a major sequencing mistake is made by following this up with the hard-driving "Butch and Butch": the juxtaposition of the two is simply too harsh. Other than this, I have no further complaints and can highly recommend this album to fans of the performers. Special accolades must go to the aforementioned DeJohnette, as this is one of his best as part of this trio.

KEITH JARRETT Arbour Zena

Album · 1976 · Third Stream
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Amilisom
I came to listen to this album as a result of many sources regarding it as being Keith Jarrett's best. What I expected to hear at the time was Keith Jarrett playing a form of bop with a trio or quartet of some kind, which is generally what you find if you search for Keith Jarrett on Youtube.

Instead, as I began the 15-min first track "Runes" I discovered that this entirely wasn't the case at all. This album doesn't even have a drummer, but instead has a string orchestra accompanying Jarrett on piano, Haden on bass, and Jan Garbarek on saxophone. The three rarely ever play at the same time. Instead, there will be stretches of time where Charlie Haden will begin soloing with the string orchestra with Jarrett either playing very sparse or not at all. This changes with the second half of "Solara March", when the three members start a groove and improvise over it with the string orchestra still giving backgrounds. "Mirrors" is similar to "Runes" but with a more complex string arrangement at times.

As a result, most of the music in this album is very free, spacious, and beautiful. Although it may draw influences from pop piano music, the spirit of improvisation is still very much existent here.

KEITH JARRETT Rio

Live album · 2011 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
idlero
Well, it's a fact that not everyone loves Keith Jarrett's solo albums( Koln, Scala..., ), it's also a fact ( even if not widely known ) that I am a big fan of Keith Jarrett's solo albums( The Koln concert is on my list of desert island albums) but not an automatic fan of KJ releases ( for example I didn't like the highly acclaimed Jasmine ). Anyway, like 'Koln', with 'Rio' it was love at 1'st audition.I don't know and I don't care if KJ isn't bringing anything new in his music here, I just love this music. A double CD set recorded on April 9, 2011, in front of an enthusiastic audience, a collection of 15 relatively short tracks(at least shorter than in 'Koln') -KJ at his best, sweeping through energetic, slow, melancholic , abstract , jazzy , romantic compositions, creates a beautiful, colourful soundscape. A must for fans of Keith Jarrett solo works, definetely one of his best albums in recent years.And a very unusual ECM cover...And no reference to brasilian music...(somehow in a double CD I would have expected some locally inspired improvisation...)

KEITH JARRETT El Juicio (The Judgement)

Album · 1975 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chicapah
I don’t have enough years left on this mortal coil to become an expert on any jazz musician. There’s just too much music from across the globe to sift through in order to do that unless one begins that task in their teens. Committing sins of severe compromise, I often pick out one album at random from an artist’s catalogue of material and form my opinions about their music from that one sample. I realize that that method is fraught with potholes and may be considered grossly unfair in the long run but my rationale is that every record someone puts out should represent them to some extent, for better or for worse. In the case of Keith Jarrett, all I know is that he’s highly regarded by many jazz aficionados, he was a child prodigy on piano, he worked with folks like Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and the great Miles Davis and that his live album, “The Köln Concert,” is the best-selling piano recording of all time. (I ran a record shop for a while in the late 70s and I constantly had to restock that LP. I guess I should’ve given it a listen. Duh.) So earlier this year I picked up a copy of his 1971 disc “El Juicio (The Judgement)” out of the used vinyl bins and started playing it as often as possible to see what Mr. Jarrett is about.

He and his talented trio of sidemen start with what turns out to be my favorite cut, “Gypsy Moth.” It owns a cheerful Ramsey Lewis-like groove yet it has a slightly sinister slant as if this particular “In Crowd” is hanging out at the bar in the Hotel Hades rather than the Ritz Carlton. Apart from the exuberant atmosphere that surrounds this song I was immediately drawn to and impressed with the slinky upright bass work of Charlie Haden. Jarrett’s piano solo is mirthfully loose up till Dewey Redman’s tenor saxophone enters and together they run through an involved but intriguing melody line. Redman then proceeds to deliver a sax ride that flies delightfully all over the place while Haden’s bass tactfully weaves in and out of the fray from underneath. All in all it’s a fun aural excursion. “Toll Road” is next, a far less structured number that’s good, no doubt, but doesn’t hold my attention as well. It does give me an opportunity to hear Keith’s remarkable abilities on the soprano sax, though, and I find his style to be fluid and somewhat frolicking in manner. Further kudos to Charlie for his entertaining bass solo and to drummer Paul Motian for keeping this tune from spinning out of control.

“Pardon My Rags” is an unaccompanied piano recital by Jarrett. It’s an intense but terrific piece that’s a cross between Scott Joplin on amphetamines and Art Tatum on Xanax. I really, really like this song as it lifts my mood immediately with every listen. If “Pre-Judgement Atmosphere” is any indication of what sitting in God’s waiting room is going to be like then we need to prepare ourselves for a nerve-racking experience. Cacophonous percussion dominates the first half, followed by a drum solo by Paul that’s ominous and arrhythmic. It’s mercifully short, serving as the intro for the album’s centerpiece, “El Juicio.” This is a 10+ minute busy affair that’s purposefully disjointed and decidedly free-form. While I fully understand and appreciate the skill involved in pulling off such an endeavor as this, it isn’t my preferred brand of jazz. That causes me to observe it from the outside instead of being drawn into it. Once again Haden’s upright bass is the highlight of the number and the odd alien voices, whistles and toots concoct a distinct air of mystery. In other words, if this represents what’s going to go down on Judgment Day then nothing is for certain for anybody. (My advice is to hedge your bets and spend a little time in church. Can’t hurt.)

“Piece for Ornette (L.V.)” is a fast-paced, near-frantic song where Dewey’s alto sax gets to shine, aided to a large extent by Keith’s soprano sax injections. It evolves into a spirited conversation/argument between the two instruments that eventually rises to a fevered pitch with Charlie and Paul racing to keep up. Again, not my cup o’ Lipton, but quite admirable on a wild, torrid level. “Piece for Ornette (S.V.) is a 12-second reprise of the central theme that fits in well as a clever caboose.

If not for the bubbly “Gypsy Moth” and the invigorating “Pardon My Rags” I’d have to compartmentalize this album as being too avant garde for my slightly conservative taste but those two cuts positively affected me so I opt to recommend “El Juicio” as a fine jazz record that touches a lot of bases. While I’m not inclined to go out and blow my allowance on more Keith Jarrett discs immediately, this record indicates to me that I’d enjoy hearing more from him in time. He’s definitely a beast on the ivories and he obviously hangs out/associates with guys who know how to play hot jazz with fervor.

KEITH JARRETT The Köln Concert

Live album · 1975 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
Improvisational magic.

It's difficult for me not to gush over this record. It's in my all time top ten albums and floored me when I first heard it. I'd read a lot about it and bought it 'cold', going off reviews alone and I was not disappointed.

Jarrett is fusing styles here, as he vamps on a few chords and just milks everything out of the technique of variation and repetition. It is a 'sit back and close your eyes' album, you let the ripple of notes transport you.

It's probably unfair to break the album into songs, but for a taste, if you don't enjoy 'Part I' you won't really like the rest of the album. Very indicative of the concert, 'Part I' begins with a trickle of notes and builds up to heavier chords and then drops away for more crescendos, before eventually moving into some strong rhythmic passages that get a blues feel going toward the middle. It drops off in intensity for a period and climbs again to end with Jarrett seeming to jab at the keys to hold a ragged rhythm.

Throughout the concert you will hear Jarret vocalising and for me it adds to the moment rather than detracts. He's there, his mind, his hands, everything about him is right there playing that concert in Koln. Every note seems to be charging through his body.

On the CD the concert is broken into four tracks, 'Part I' is the 26 minute opener and 'Part II' is broken into three tracks, ending with a perfect coda-like expression of the ideas in 'Part I'.

It is an astounding concert in which Keith Jarrett varies his attack on the keys, his rhythm and his ideas. He really commits himself to the pieces he is creating here. Clearly, some of the passages will feel more 'classical' than 'jazz' but he is using the spirit of jazz - improvisation, throughout the entire the concert. So 'The Koln Concert' is probably for fans of the piano and the ideals of improvisation. Five stars for me.

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snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Not very usual genre tag for Jarrett and for this time period, but Cool jazz is possibly the best tag for that album
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
just wanting to make sure -Jasmine is cool jazz?

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