Saturday, May 2, 2009

Volume 21. Keith Jarrett

I've paid a lot of attention to music over the years.
I listen.
Attend concerts.
I've been known to play the piano
and sometimes the guitar.
I even read about music.
With all the amazing recordings
and concerts that Keith Jarrett
is responsible for,
I've spent an awful lot of time enjoying him.

One of the first albums of his that I discovered was Facing You.

That wonderful solo recording, of those short little gems.

Not a wasted note. Not a wasted breath.

Another early discovery was the Ruta and Daitya recording

with that lovely cover by Leena Westerlund.

Jarrett plays some funcky e piano on it with Jack DeJohnette

accompanying on tablas at times.

It was with the rhapsodic solo piano concert recordings
that Jarrett exploded into public view.

By this time he'd already performed
and recorded with many greats including
Art Blakey and Miles Davis.

There were early recordings for Atlantic.

There were many great recordings on Impulse.

And there've been many wonderful recordings of all sorts on ECM.

I still remember the day I first set my eyes,

and moments later my mitts, on the

Belonging album.

I'd gone to a record store in Skokie

and when I saw this iconic design

and these amazing players

I grabbed it not yet knowing

the magic I

held before me.

This was by Jarrett's brilliant Scandinavian Quartet

with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson, and Jon Christensen.Jarrett, always surrounded by great talent,

also played with an American Quartet

that I often saw in performance at Amazing Grace.

It included Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian.

Jarrett has written music for so many different size ensembles.

I love Luminessence where Keith writes string parts that Garbarek

improvises over with a searing soprano.

Arbour Zena allowed Charlie Haden a similar priveledge.

On Bridge of Light Jarrett writes for

Orchestra with Viola, Orchestra with Oboe,

and a Sonata for Violin and Piano.

Other forrays into the Classical World have included performances of:



and Handel

For many years, and hopefully for many more,

Jarrett has been playing and touring with one of the finest Trios

since Bill Evans. Perhaps you've seen them.

Occasionally Keith will perform a solo concert.

A few years ago when I saw that he would be performing

in Paris at Salle Pleyel, I bought concert tickets

and then arranged a trip around that memorable evening.

Memorable it was.

I remember it well.

I am writing this today because Keith's birthday is May 8

and I want him to know how much I've enjoyed his music throughout the years.

If you're already familiar with his work, and I'm sure many of you are,

you will know what I mean. If somehow Jarrett's brilliance has thusfar escaped you,

I hope you will feel inspired to explores his vast, colorful ouevre.

Happy Birthday Keith!


  1. hi David,
    was just about to send you an email to check if everything was ok your end..
    and here comes Keith..
    yes i love him as well, though i don't have all his music at home
    difficult not to love the mythical Köln concert!
    have a great week end !

  2. Added your blog to my list could you please add me thanks David , Steve

  3. David, Thank you for the comment on my blog.
    A big thank you for introducing me to Ken Buhler, beautiful work.
    I've been a fan a Keith Jarrett for many years. Have you listened to Louis Sclavis?

  4. Hey Tim,

    Nice hearing from you. Glad you liked Ken's work. You'll have to forward your e mail address to me so we can chat more about Jazz and Photography. I know Sclavis BUT have not listened to him all that much. As you may have been able to tell from my Jarrett blog, I've been listening to ECM for 37 years? Lucky me!