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Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden: Last Dance

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For the past 30 years--barring a few diversions into classical repertoire, unexpected instrumentation like 1986's Book of Ways and a couple of home-cooked solo albums that, as with the 1986 recording No End (ECM, 2013), were out-of-character recordings where he overdubbed all the instruments himself--pianist Keith Jarrett has been working two contexts and two contexts only: solo piano performances that, with the exception of the home-recorded The Melody at Night, With You (ECM, 1999), have all been recorded live; and his Standards Trio recordings--in all but one instance featuring bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette--that, with the exception of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Keith Jarrett: Arbour Zena

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Given his overall focus on just two projects over the past three decades--with the exception of relatively rare diversions into the classical world or recordings like Jasmine (2010), an intimate duo date with bassist Charlie Haden--it's easy to forget that there was a time when pianist Keith Jarrett was not just one of the most innovative performers on the planet, but a writer constrained by no stylistic boundaries. These days, focusing as he does on performing solo and with his longstanding Standards Trio, it's only with the release of archival finds like Sleeper--Tokyo, April 16, 1979 (2012),with his Belonging Quartet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett / Dennis Russell Davies: Ritual

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In pianist Keith Jarrett's vast ECM catalogue, albums on which he does not play aren't exactly common, but nor are they completely uncommon; his 1974 double-disc set In the Light features a handful of tracks on which he performs, but its primary focus is on Jarrett the composer. Ditto Luminessence (1975), a trilogy of compositions for string orchestra and improviser Jan Garbarek--a precursor to Arbour Zena (1976), also featuring the Norwegian saxophonist and string orchestra, but also including Jarrett and bassist Charlie Haden as featured performers. That album is part of ECM's Re:solutions series of reissues--seven albums in all so ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett: Concerts - Bregenz / Munchen

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In the realm of solo improvised piano performance, few approach Keith Jarrett's recorded legacy--both for quality and quantity. With Rio (2011), Jarrett brought the number of solo CD releases on his longtime label, ECM, to fifteen. The absence, in full, of Concerts (1982) on CD--originally three LPs of solo performances from Bregenz and München--has remained a mystery for years, the single-disc Bregenz show ultimately issued as Concerts, leaving the double-disc München MIA ever since. There was a close call, with a three-CD box containing both concerts mysteriously pulled at the eleventh hour, making this year's release of the complete Concerts: ...

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Keith Jarrett: No End

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When Keith Jarrett released Spirits in 1986 on his longstanding/exclusive label, Germany's ECM Records, this two-disc home recording--featuring the pianist on a multitude of instruments in addition to his main axe, including a bevy or recorders and flutes, guitar, saz and percussion--came out of the blue to his legion of fans while, at the same time, not representing a total surprise. After all, at this point in time, the musically voracious Jarrett was busy recording and touring with his then-nascent Standards Trio; delivering epic solo piano performances like Concerts: Bregenz/Munich--first released in 1981 but finally issued on CD in its ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette at Zellerbach Hall

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Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette Zellerbach Hall Berkeley, CA October 4, 2013 Day three of the United States government shut-down, and the public wasn't buying the official announcement that the giant sequoias in the Yosemite National Park “weren't available for viewing, today." Really? Those magnificent trees that have stood since before there was a United States, before there were colonies, and even before there was a bloody king of England, are taking a break. The National Park Service told us there is no Grand Canyon and no Redwoods too. Please. Some things that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette: Somewhere

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It's been four years since a recorded peep has been heard from pianist Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio, despite continuing to perform a few select dates each year. But even its last few ECM releases--2009's Yesterdays, 2007's My Foolish Heart and 2004's The Out-of-Towners--were all culled from a clearly fruitful 2001, making it well over a decade since a new recorded note has been heard from Jarrett's longest-lasting group. Fine albums all, the dearth of anything since that time has nevertheless begged the question, even amongst some of his most ardent fans, as to whether this undeniably fine trio had anything ...



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