All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

420

Keith Jarrett: Testament - Paris / London

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
For fans, music critics, and musicians, the music of pianist Keith Jarrett can be like a dopamine release in the brain. Like any pleasurable activity —sex, drugs, food—listening to Jarrett's music releases a neurotransmitter chemical in the brain that reinforces the pleasure systems of the body. Pick any spot in his nearly 50-year career and fans will tell you about their first encounter and the visceral response they had to his music. For this writer, it was Bop-Be (Impulse!, 1977), but for others, The Köln Concert (ECM, 1975), or, gulp, the marathon ten-LP (now six-CD) Sun Bear Concerts (ECM,1978) as their initiation into Jarrett's music. Along the length of his career, devotees continually search for that pleasure response they first had with Jarrett's music.

The two nights that make up Testament - Paris / London fire off large doses of brain chemicals, enough to satisfy the hardest, of hardcore fans.

The attraction here—and with all of Jarrett's original music—is his emotional effort. He is always able to convey feeling in his playing, from the fervid to the sentimental, the passionate to the giddy; or maybe, perhaps, those are just listener responses to his playing.

As explained in Jarrett's liner notes, his return to solo improvisation has come at the expense of some very important assets (his health and his wife), and that effort is evident across these three discs. Following the critically acclaimed concert recordings Radiance (ECM, 2005), from Japan in 2002, and The Carnegie Hall Concert (ECM, 2006), from New York in 2005, Testament excels in breadth of playing and range of passion.

Unlike the marathon pieces he attempted in the now-distant past, these tracks—all simply numbered and ranging from just under four minutes to nearly fourteen—are dense, consumable brilliance. Maybe the effects of the chronic fatigue syndrome are still with him, but these smaller blocks of improvisation clearly demonstrate Jarrett's enthusiasm for playing. He seems to be reacting more to the audience's response and presence, playing into the attendees' desire to make these shows a positive and supportive experience.

Jarrett's streams of consciousness include classical, jazz, free improvisation and touches of gospel. His physical playing—seated, standing, hovering face nearly touching keys—are all parts of this singular individual's expression of his soul, and, indeed, supplies plenty of those dopamine brain chemicals.


Track Listing: CD1 (Salle Pleyel, Paris: November 26, 2008): Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V; Part VI; Part VII; Part VIII. CD2 (Royal Festival Hall, London: December 1, 2008): Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V; Part VI. CD3 (Royal Festival Hall, London: December 1, 2008): Part VII; Part VIII; Part IX; Part X; Part XI; Part XII.

Personnel: Keith Jarrett: piano.

Title: Testament - Paris / London | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
After the Fall

After the Fall

ECM Records
2018

buy
La Fenice

La Fenice

ECM Records
2018

buy
Hamburg '72

Hamburg '72

ECM Records
2015

buy
Keith Jarrett: Creation

Keith Jarrett:...

ECM Records
2015

buy
Creation

Creation

ECM Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Open Heart CD/LP/Track Review
Open Heart
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Steve Reich: Drumming CD/LP/Track Review
Steve Reich: Drumming
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2018
Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Alive In The East?" CD/LP/Track Review Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read "La Fenice" CD/LP/Track Review La Fenice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2018
Read "Tristeza on Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Tristeza on Guitar
by Chris May
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Intimate Ella - A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Intimate Ella - A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 2, 2018
Read "Traveler" CD/LP/Track Review Traveler
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017