Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert
Burdened as it is by the news that, due to two strokes suffered in 2018, Keith Jarrett's glorious art of live composition is all but over, Budapest Concert has some serious heavy lifting to do. Triumphant and transcendent, it rises to the grand occasion and leaves the listener marveling at how any artist, of any age, of any discipline, can still capture the moment and the imagination so singularly as Jarrett does sixty years down the line.

Recorded at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall during his last tour in 2016, the double disc Budapest Concert finds Jarrett in full form two weeks earlier than the still remarkable Munich Concert (ECM, 2019). Part punk and part Prokofiev, "Part I" is a frenzied opening salvo, a stop-start fusillade tumble of time, tempo, and suggested theory which would exhaust most younger players and leaves the listener playing catch-up. It is the longest piece of the evening raging just under fifteen minutes and tears the veil off without hesitancy. But though each piece has its own quixotic flash of inspiration, the rest of the first half of the concert, "Part II," "Part III," and "Part IV" respectively, posits Jarrett in an extremely pensive if not unsettled state of mind. As if he has yet to find what he is looking for or in doubt that maybe, on this particular night, in front of this particular audience, he won't find it.

"Part V," an all engaging lyrical lullaby, opens the second half with the instant sense that Jarrett has found his way and indeed he has. "Part VI" is a loquacious roadhouse rout, one of those pure Jarrett moments, as are the subsequent, meditative rhapsodies "Part VII" and "Part VIII." Coming from the quiet as we were "Part IX" is a brief flash pot. "Part X," a left hand dominant exercise, may be a brief stumble from the preceding heights, but it only serves to amplify the magnetism grace of "Part XI" and the bouncing and fanciful "Part XII," one of those blues revelries every audience since The Koln Concert (ECM, 1975) waits for with baited breath. As has become traditional in his late years, Jarrett closes with two extremely wistful renderings of "It's A Lonesome Old Town" and "Answer Me," making the Budapest Concert a one night stand of long lasting beauty.

Track Listing

Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V; Part VI; Part VII; Part VIII; Part IX; Part X; Part XI; Part XII Blues; It's A Lonesome Old Town; Answer Me.


Keith Jarrett: piano.

Album information

Title: Budapest Concert | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: ECM Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


All Without Words: Variations Inspired by Loren
John Daversa Jazz Orchestra Featuring Justin...
Global Entry
Gabriel Evan Orchestra
Live At The Club Polnischer Versager
Casserley / Illvibe / Morgan / Sjostrom
This Song Is New
Lorne Lofsky
Blue Lotus
The New Muse 4Tet
Garden Of Jewels
Ivo Perelman Trio
Virtual Birdland
Arturo O'Farrill


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.