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14 Archived Comments


  • Warren Lubline wrote on July 27, 2007 report

    I can only second Mr. Biro's eloquent comments. I, too, witnessed similar behaviour at a Keith Jarret Trio concert in Minneapolis's concert house several years ago. A beautiful setting, an expectant evening - all of it was ruined by boorish behavior by Jarrett and by extension, his group. He didn't verbally harrangue the audience but played a miniscule second set bookened by repeat returns for encores that were achieved by making the audience wait minutes between each extra tune (the set was only 20 minutes long). If we paid sufficient tribute to him, expressed in volume and duration of applause,Jarrett would return. Each return required ever more supplication by the audience. This is an ethical stance one really must reject.

    One really does glimpse something of the totalitarian mind of an artist- or, maybe, of totalitarian art in Jarret's stance. And I think one really does think of this differently than, for example, the legions of stories of Charles Mingus' nightclub behaviour.(see note one), to take one example. At least as depicted in Santoro's biography, Mingus' tirades at audiences (and fellow musicians) didn't manifest the same kind of contempt for the audience. Mingus music was a difficult invitation, but an invitation no less. It would be nice if Jarrett, like an contrite Tour de France doper, would, not confess, but rethink the relation between artist and audience. A theoretical elaboration of his current stance would, no doubt, hardly endear him to those who listen to his music.
    Warren Lubline

    1. and concert actions, too. By the way, the late Rolf Erikson told a completely different version of the famous 1962 Town Hall debacle on Swedish radio before he died. According to Erikson, who was an integral part of Mingus' project, the enormous band, many instruments doubled (two first alto sax players . . . )had indeed mastered the music we now know as Epitaph. It's just that when the musicians got onto stage, none of that music was there. There were note writers who handed out music which was not what they had rehearsed.)"The most fun I had in my entire life," as Erikson put it.

  • Jeffrey Wraight wrote on July 28, 2007 report

    Jarrett sounds really annoyed in the clip. I reckon there was more to it - backstage stuff going on. I've played Italy a number of times & there were always problems with the promoters, usually about money and invariably just before the performance.

    Jarrett is known to be fractious, and his comments show, to me, a guy at the end of his 'tether' with the 'Politics'. Lets face it, If you are about to embark on an hour & a half of total concentration in front of a massive crowd you don't need any distractions, back, or front of house.

    In my opinion, if audience members don't like Jarrett's rules they can always go to the pub instead.

  • Doug Grover wrote on July 31, 2007 report

    For one reason or another I have never seen Keith Jarrett Live and now I am happy I never did. He's just another idiot musician who is concerned with everything but the music. Play the fucking music and shut up. I have been playing professionally for 30 years and the music is what it is all about. Yes on many occasions there have been distractions and concentration breakers, but so what. Is he afraid someone will make a little change from a photo or have a bootleg recording, if so I suggest he stay home and play by himself. I wouldn't want to interfere with his artistic genious.

    His actions and concerns automaticaaly negate a fair portion of his musical capabilities.

    I didn't realize that Jack was such a dick also. I wonder why Gary didn't say something?

  • Sid Fewster wrote on August 04, 2007 report

    I'm with Keith Jarrett on this one. I'd be quite happy for people not to be allowed to bring phones or cameras into concerts and theatrical performances. It could be done like it was done( in the USA for while) when it wasn't allowable to take cigarette lighters on planes. People could just dump them at the entrance.
    There are always the idiots who think that requests not to take flash pictures don't apply to them. I would prefer not to attend events with idiots like that.
    As for recording, impossible to control and I doubt that the performer would be aware of it at the time.
    But flashes going off all the time must be really distracting for the performer.
    If Jarrett had made the request for no cameras and flash before and been ignored, then he did the right thing by walking off when he did and saying what he said. Next time( not in Umbria, maybe at Brecon) he should put in his contract that flash and camera use would result in the immediate termination of the concert and have the organisers announce that at the beginning. Maybe they refused to in this case.

  • Marius Jontvedt wrote on August 15, 2007 report

    I was in Perugia that night, and no matter how much I agree that taking pictures only seconds after the president of the festival had begged people not to is a stupid thing, I still find it even more stupid to insult the whole audience as only a handful took pictures. Jarret being pissed of is understandable, but a few cameras did not give him the right to use phrases as "this damn city" and "it's you privilege to be here, not mine" as this brought about a negative atmosphere affecting all people there. My girlfriend and I had spent our hard earned money to fly from Norway to Italy to see Jarret and Pat Metheny, and after the insulting words before even playing a note, the whole Jarret experinece was partly ruined.

    Three days later it was time for the Metheny gig, and not only did he (and Mehldau, Grenadier and Ballard) play fantastic, but Pat also took his time to thank the audience for coming out and tell how much he appreciated the Umbria Jazz festival, the city and italy. Live music to me is all about a connection between the audience and the musicians. Music can speak for itself, but the connection is ruined if added words are of the insulting kind. Metheny (and Stefano Bollani and Enrico Rava who we also got to see, for that matter) adds something postive to the already great music when opening their mouths.

    Jarret is a great musician, but that doesn't justify the behaviour he displayed that night.

  • Paul Brewer wrote on December 19, 2007 report

    I'm a 56 year-old jazz trombonist. My hero was and still is the great J. J. Johnson. I had the opportunity to perform with him on stage in 1991. And it was one of the more profound peak experiences of my life.

    And guess what? J. J. made it that way for me because he wasn't just a great jazz musician. He was also a great man - an honor that Keith Jarrett, for all his musical greatness, cannot claim.

    This is a shame. But, I guess Keith just doesn't get it. While he was practicing all those hours everyday to become a great musician, he must have neglected to practice the art of personal integrity.

    It's too bad J. J. wasn't Keith’s teacher. Keith might have learned how to be more than a musician.

    He might have learned how to be a MAN.

    You're a great musician, Keith. But, evidently, you're also a petulant brat from time to time. Which brings me to this:

    I've bought very many of your CDs and videos in the past.

    But, unless you apologize publicly for your behavior at Umbria (and other past venues) and vow to abandon you’re childish tantrums toward audiences, I'll buy no more. I won't attend your concerts, either. And I assure you that I'll be far from alone in my decision to do this.

  • Kandie Le Britain Webster wrote on February 07, 2008 report

    Thank you all for your well-stated opinions on Keith Jarrett's outrageous behaviour.

    So why does he continually keep rising to the top of the AAJ musician profiles?

    Go figure....

    Kandie Le Britain Webster ~~ jazzylover59

  • David Cooper wrote on November 17, 2009 report

    Having just purchased 'Yesterdays by Keith Jarrett I'm afraid I must report that my listening pleasure was diminished slightly by the tuneless and ill focused scatting emanating from the maestro's mouth during what is otherwise a pristine recording.
    Whilst acknowledging that this is a common and universally accepted idiosyncracy of this artist, may I suggest that he shuts the f**k up and plays the goddam music.
    Oh yes... and I promise not to take any photos of him if ever I am lucky enough to see him live.

  • Bryan Sale wrote on October 15, 2010 report

    Keith just seems to revel in f*cking up is own art. He's always been much more effective at it than anyone in his audience. Sadly, that's why I don't bother to listen. I know he's a great player, but there are quite a few more that give me equal or greater pleasure and at least they don't make me feel like an a**hole for simply being interested in their work. I'm happy to stay away and feel for his fans who feel they have to put up with his obnoxiousness. I personally will not.

  • Greg French wrote on December 07, 2010 report

    Those of you who agree with Keith Jarrett's self-indulgent behavior are missing the point: why should an entire audience be penalized because of one person using a flash? I was at a concert of Jarrett's many years ago and he got mad because someone came into the concert hall late. The rest of the audience was on time. One person came in late. And Jarrett slammed his hands on the piano and stopped playing, briefly lecturing the audience, before resuming. I don't hold grudges, but over the years I've heard his behavior hasn't changed. That reinforces my resolve to never see him live, and only buy music on which he's a sideman, not the leader. I'm surprised Jack De Johnette, my favorite drummer and a high spirit, continues touring with him since Mr. De Johnette is always great and gracious, but that's his prerogative.

  • Konstantin wrote on January 17, 2012 report

    I can understand all of you is really angry with Keith behaviour, but can we judge his so strictly ??

  • John Kelman wrote on January 17, 2012 report

    Hi Konstantin. Few people judge Jarrett's music harshly, even if they do his behavior. There's no denying (well, imo) his artistic talent and influential work over the last 45 years. And few reasonable folks deny his right to protect his work by insisting on no cameras and no recording of any kind. But, in deference to his tremendous music, I've seen other artists handle the same problem with grace and, in some cases, humor, and I think it's an approach that works better, because it unites the audience with the artist, rather than dividing them.

  • kevin bottorff wrote on March 17, 2012 report

    On a funny note, the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld reminds me of Keith. One person makes a mistake and it's, "no Jazz for you!"

  • Mort Weiss wrote on December 01, 2012 report

    Keith's behavior is smptamatic of what chronic masterbation can initiate in the creativity secretains of one medula oblumgota - affecting the inner dynamaic functioning of lower levels of creon out flow Eg.turnning one in to the perffect ass hole-which bares looking into by those that he shat upon-I think that -all things consedred-the keith & Gertrude Stein would have made a lovly couple. Mort