269

Keith Jarrett: Radiance

By

Sign in to view read count
Keith Jarrett: Radiance Albums like Radiance always amaze me. The intimacy of listening to an incredible and accomplished musician like Keith Jarrett shed soul for all, engaging in self-conversation, meditation, and improvisation, is undeniably where it's at. Radiance, ECM's recent two-disc release of solo material, ranks right up there with The Koln Concert, Jarrett's lauded 1975 classic.

Radiance was recorded live in 2002 during Jarrett's tour of Japan. Disc one and a third of disc two are culled from an Osaka performance, while the remainder of disc two was recorded in Tokyo three days later (ECM plans a DVD release of the complete Tokyo concert later this year). This is Jarrett's first album of solo piano improvisations since La Scala (ECM, 1997).

Unlike The Koln Concert (ECM, 1975) and some of Jarrett's other solo piano discs, Radiance is not an improvisational free-for-all. Movements hint at previous movements and preview ones to come—reminding me of Kerouac's blues ("Mexico City Blues, for starters) where ideas carry over from one poem to the next, showing the thought process at work, the thoughtful improviser on display. At times the album feels like a long conversation with an old friend—parts of it feel redundant (you'll think, "haven't I heard this before? ) but overall the excitement of hearing that old friend's voice again makes the conversation feel new.

This approach of coupling movements together as improvised "suites makes Radiance refreshing and different from other selections from Jarrett's discography. Also, Radiance couldn't have been recorded in the late seventies, along with other classic Jarrett solo sets. The playing itself is just as solid, no doubt, but Jarrett's vocabulary just seems that much broader, that much more complete, in 2002. He seems open to more impulses, making moments in his performance feel more carefree and honest.

Jarrett often leaves little break between movements, thus his audience's applause is varied, coming only when the performer rests long enough to invite it. This rapid movement from one movement to the next, one idea or inspiration to the next, shows Jarrett's range, his virtuosity really. Classical, jazz (free and/or swung), pop, Latin, and soul—all these voices speak from his hands.

Parts 3, 4, and 5 show this talent well. Part 3 showcases Jarrett's beautiful and intense lyricism, with a melody that is very '70s pop, almost like a movie soundtrack of that era. Jarrett follows this with the short, jittery abstraction of Part 4 and then immediately leaps into the frenzied playing of the following selection.

Much of the record follows at this frenzied, chaotic, and free pace, which only helps to make the mellower, melodic parts even more soothing, as when the pop melody returns on Part 8.

No stranger to the solo concert, Jarrett really seems to opens himself up on Radiance, engaging in explicit conversation with whatever guides his fingers.


Track Listing: Disc One: Parts 1-9; Disc Two: Parts 10-17

Personnel: Keith Jarrett (piano)

Title: Radiance | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Billows Of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Strong Tea" CD/LP/Track Review Strong Tea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Nerve Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.