What does it sound like?:
Recorded at the Munich Philharmonic Hall at the end of his 2016 European tour, this two cd set demonstrates Keith Jarrett’s improvisational skills are in fine fettle as he performs twelve extemporaneous compositions, followed by three more conventional pieces as encores. This spontaneous suite moves seamlessly from the improvisational thirteen minute Part I, through to gospel (Part III), blues (Part IV), boogie woogie (part IX) and avant garde (Part X). At times, things get a little too meandering perhaps (Parts II & XI for example) where the embryonic melodies disappear before they have fully fledged, but the almost pastoral playing and real time composition on other sections, notably Parts V and VIII, more than compensates. The encores have always been great on Jarrett’s shows, and here you get Answer Me My Love, appropriately a German song from the fifties, the Depression era piece It’s A Lonesome Old Town and of course his signature rendition of Over The Rainbow. All in all, another super set that once more showcases the diversity and inventiveness of this unique artist.
I’ve also been listening to two cds that were originally only available as part of box sets, but that have now been released individually, 1983’s Standards Volume One and At The Blue Note (First Set) from 1994, both featuring Jarrett accompanied by Jack DeJohnette on drums and Gary Peacock on bass. The highlight from the former is a quite remarkable version of Billie Holiday’s God Bless The Child, while the stand out on the latter is the opening Autumn Leaves, which is so long it makes the following eleven minute Days Of Wine And Roses seem positively brief in comparison. Both albums are well worth your time.
What does it all *mean*?
The coming year sees Jarrett’s 75th birthday, so hopefully there’ll be something released to mark that occasion.
Goes well with…
Going wherever the music takes you.
Might suit people who like…
Jazz, improvisation, virtuoso musicianship.