Keith Jarrett – Concerts (2013)

FrontCover1.jpgConcerts is a live solo album by American pianist Keith Jarrett recorded in concert on May 28, 1981 at the Festspielhaus in Bregenz, Austria and on June 2, 1981 at the Herkulessaal in Munich, West Germany and originally released as a 3-LP set on the ECM label.[1] It was also released as a single LP including only the Bregenz performance.

Initially the CD pressings included only the Bregenz performance; it was not until 2013 that ECM put out a full three-disc reissue containing both concerts on CD for the first time.

The opening of the Bregenz performance was included in the soundtrack of the film Mostly Martha. (by wikipedia)

By the early ’80s, Keith Jarrett was definitely under siege, accused of arrogance, singing along too loudly, rambling eclecticism, and other “heinous” jazz crimes, especially in the wake of the massive success of the Köln Concert seven years before, and the issue of the massive, unprecedented Sun Bear Concerts box set in 1978. Indeed, around this time, Jarrett would verbally attack music critics at his solo concerts, and the reflected paranoia is obvious in Peter Ruedi’s defensive booklet essay included here, “The Magician and the Jugglers.”

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This multi-disc set was recorded during two concerts over four days in the spring of 1981 in Bregenz, Austria, and Munich, Germany. This recording is not to be confused with the earlier, more consistently inspired Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lusanne from 1973, which made Jarrett a star, yet the pianist was far from tapped out in these performances. He is often in his best lyrically funky form, where he makes the most out of a single ostinato idea — particularly at the beginning of the Bregenz concert and in the middle of the Munich concert — and his touch and exploitation of the dynamics and timbres of a grand piano are always a pleasure to hear.

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Even the passages of stasis or seemingly aimless rippling do not cancel out the treasurable moments and have real worth — though for some, the string plucking near the end of the Munich show may be somewhat gratuitous. In any case, this is far more interesting and elevated music-making than that of the New Age navel-gazing imitators who were cropping up in Jarrett’s wake in the early ’80s en masse, and adds immeasurably to the historically unique portrait of the artist. (by Richard S. Ginell)

Recorded in concert in Bregenz, Austria on May 28, 1981 (tracks 1-4) and
Munich, West Germany on June 2, 1981 (tracks 5-10)

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Personnel:
Keith Jarrett (piano)

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Tracklist:

CD 1: Bregenz:
01. Festspielhaus Part I / 22.00
02. Festspielhaus Part II / 12.07
03. Untitled 9.30
04. Heartland 6.02

CD 2: München I:
05. Herkulesaal Part I 23.23
06. Herkulesaal Part II 24.23

CD 3: München II:
07. Herkulesaal Part III 26.30
08. Herkulesaal Part IV – 11.45
09. Mon Coeur Est Rouge 8.30
10. Heartland 6.11

All compositions by Keith Jarrett

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Keith Jarrett & Jan Garbarek – European Quartet (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgFor a band destined to be so influential, led by a pianist who is certainly not shy of the recording process, Keith Jarrett’s so-called European quartet was parlously under-documented.

Two studio albums, Belonging (1974) and My Song (1977) and a single live recording, Nude Ants (1979) made at New York’s Village Vanguard, were all that Jarrett and producer Manfred Eicher saw fit to release at the time. But the studio albums in particular were of such a high quality, so totally original in their conception, so utterly, heart-openingly beautiful, they were enough to establish the quartet as one of the most influential acoustic units to emerge from the otherwise fusion-soaked 1970s.

Formed around Jarrett’s bravura playing and writing, the group featured three then little-known Scandinavian musicians: saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen. The Europeans seemed to have a liberating effect on the Pennsylvania pianist.

Even now, with more than 50 other ECM recordings to his name, among them some of the most celebrated jazz albums of the post-Coltrane era, Jarrett stands out for his playing with the European quartet – joyous, exuberant flights of pure melodic invention, imbued with a bright-eyed romanticism that is rare in modern jazz.

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Also known as the Scandinavian quartet, Jarrett’s alliance with Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano sax), Palle Danielsson (bass), and Jon Christensen (drums) stood in smooth contrast to the American quartet’s restlessness. Common to both groups was Jarrett’s brilliant writing and a few free and ethnic tangents. Their first album Belonging was recorded in the heyday of the American quartet, but they only became a working unit after the Americans had dissembled. Considering all the compositions Jarrett wrote for both groups, it cements him as one of the most creative jazz artists of the 1970s, all without playing a lick of fusion.  (by jazzshelf.org)

And here´s a brilliant live recording from this “European quartet”… a broadcast recording, live at the Funkhaus, Studios 1, Hannover … recorded by the German radio station “NDR”.

Listen and you´ll know why I think and feel, that this is timeless music !

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Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone)
Keith Jarrett (piano)


Tracklist:
01. Introduction (in German) 0.35
02. Belonging 5.03
03. Spiral Dance 13.53
04. Blossom 15.50
05. Give Me Your Ribbons And I’ll Give You My Bows 7.53
06. The Windup 13.37
07. Long As You Know You’re Living Yours 17.13
08. Mandala 7.23
09. Solstice 14.44

Music composed by Keith Jarrett

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Keith Jarrett – Personal Mountains (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgIn the late 1970s, Keith Jarrett was leading both an American quartet and a European one, though the designations referred strictly to the makeup of the groups, not to the venues they played. These 1979 recordings by the European band were made during a tour of Japan. On five of the pianist’s tunes, there’s exceptional group interaction between Jarrett and Scandinavians Jan Garbarek, on tenor and soprano sax, Palle Danielsson on bass, and Jon Christensen on drums. That interplay shows to best advantage in the extended performances here, the turbulent title tune and the moody, dissonant “Oasis,” the group’s individual voices coming together in tense, vibrant dialogue. The funky “Late Night Willie” takes full advantage of Garbarek’s R&B sound, while Jarrett shines on the luminous ballad “Prism” and the hymnlike simplicity of “Innocence.” Personal Mountains is as well sustained as the group’s studio set, My Song, or the contemporaneous Nude Ants from the Village Vanguard. (by Stuart Broomer)

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It is very much out of character for the prolific Keith Jarrett and his producer Manfred Eicher to hold anything back, yet they’ve done it here, releasing these live tapes of Jarrett’s European quartet ten years after they were recorded. Presumably, they did it in order not to distract attention from Nude Ants, which was recorded a week after these concerts, but that never stopped them before from just piling on more discs. In any case, these Tokyo recordings were too good to hide; the quartet had reached an interactive creative high around this time, often burning at the rarified level that Nude Ants reached. Jarrett is both lyrically effusive and able to ignite his European colleagues into giving him more swinging support than on earlier sessions. In particular, the title track has a lot of the exploratory fervor of “New Dance” from Nude Ants, and “Late Night Willie” gets down deep into the Jarrett gospel feeling. Jan Garbarek is especially forthright in Tokyo on tenor, while his soprano pierces like a beam of sunlight, and Palle Danielsson (bass) and Jon Christensen (drums) are loose, relaxed, and impeccably recorded. Clearly this is one of the peaks of the European quartet’s discography. (by Richard S. Ginell)

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Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone)
Keith Jarrett (piano)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Personal Mountains 16.02
02. Prism 11.16
03. Oasis 18.04
04. Innocence 7.17
05. Late Night Willie 8.46

All compositions by Keith Jarrett

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Keith Jarrett – Concerts (1982 – 2013)

LPFrontCover1The Bregenz/Munich concerts were Jarrett’s most brilliant live solo recordings to date; his level of inspiration is quite extraordinary, and the music covers a wider musical and emotional range than ever. He takes fabulous risks, pushing everything to the limit.”
– Jarrett biographer Ian Carr

After “Bremen/Lausanne” after “The Köln Concert”, after the epic “Sun Bear Concerts”, the next development in Jarrett’s solo concerts was the all-embracing music captured here. Two 1981 improvised concerts from Austria and Germany are featured, recorded respectively at the Festspielhaus Bregenz and the Herkulessaal Munich, venues noted for outstanding acoustics. While the Bregenz concert has hitherto been available as a single CD, this set marks the first appearance of the complete Munich performance on compact disc.

This 3-CD set includes an extensive German-English text booklet with liner notes by Keith Jarrett, an essay by Peter Rüedi, and poetry by Michael Krüger. (press release)

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By the early ’80s, Keith Jarrett was definitely under siege, accused of arrogance, singing along too loudly, rambling eclecticism, and other “heinous” jazz crimes, especially in the wake of the massive success of the Köln Concert seven years before, and the issue of the massive, unprecedented Sun Bear Concerts box set in 1978. Indeed, around this time, Jarrett would verbally attack music critics at his solo concerts, and the reflected paranoia is obvious in Peter Ruedi’s defensive booklet essay included here, “The Magician and the Jugglers.” This multi-disc set was recorded during two concerts over four days in the spring of 1981 in Bregenz, Austria, and Munich, Germany. This recording is not to be KeithJarrett02confused with the earlier, more consistently inspired Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lusanne from 1973, which made Jarrett a star, yet the pianist was far from tapped out in these performances. He is often in his best lyrically funky form, where he makes the most out of a single ostinato idea — particularly at the beginning of the Bregenz concert and in the middle of the Munich concert — and his touch and exploitation of the dynamics and timbres of a grand piano are always a pleasure to hear. Even the passages of stasis or seemingly aimless rippling do not cancel out the treasurable moments and have real worth — though for some, the string plucking near the end of the Munich show may be somewhat gratuitous. In any case, this is far more interesting and elevated music-making than that of the New Age navel-gazing imitators who were cropping up in Jarrett’s wake in the early ’80s en masse, and adds immeasurably to the historically unique portrait of the artist.  (by Richard S. Ginell)

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Personnel:
Keith Jarrett (piano)

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Tracklist:

CD 1: Bregenz, May 28, 1981:
01. Part I / 22.00
02. Part II / 12.07
03. Untitled 9.30
04. Heartland 6.02

CD 2: München, June 2, 1981:
01. Part I / 23.24
02. Part II / 24.21

CD 3: München, June 2, 1981:
01. Part III / 26.00
02. Part IV / 11.44
03. Mon Coeur Est Rouge 8.29
04. Heartland 6.11

Music composed by Keith Jarrett

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Keith Jarrett Trio – Live At Tagskaegeet Denmark (The Dylan Concert) (1969)

FrontCover1A surprising recording emerged late last week of the Keith Jarrett Trio playing Bob Dylan tunes. Apparently, back in 1968, Jarrett together with Paul Motian and Charlie Haden did a trio recording for Vortex [Vortex LP 2012] called Somewhere Before and recorded two Dylan numbers – My Back Pages and Lay Lady Lay. This long out-of-print record was issued on CD in 1990 and Amazon still lists it for sale but we haven’t tried yet.

Anyway, this live recording [the original LP was also a live recording but different time and place] is by a different trio that includes Gus Nemeth [bs] and Bob Ventrello [drms]. It took place a year later in Denmark and comes from a very good FM source. This is the fixed version with the correct speed.

What was Jarrett thinking playing Bob Dylan in Europe? Clearly the free jazz movement had failed to gather mass appeal, not that that was its intent. Even Miles Davis by ’69 was conceding that jazz was no longer “king” and concessions had to be made to rock music.

But the less than energised reading of the two Dylan tunes suggests that Jarrett was uncomfortable covering rock. It was to be a difficult time for jazz musicians. In hindsight, their golden age had passed and the ’70s offered a marriage of convenience called jazz fusion. Even worse, along came jazz lite and Kenny G.

Since that time even more concessions have been made. Classical music and jazz. A whole new constellation of jazz singers with an eye on pop singles. Jazz as conservative music. Whatever happened to the shock and awe of free jazz?

This was originally shared by ricola. In turn it was speed corrected by Perv/twat Production. Thanks to all who shared this rarity. Never officially released before. (Professor Red/Big O)

Alternate frontcovers:

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Personnel:
Keith Jarrett (piano, saxophone)
Gus Nemeth (bass)
Bob Ventrello (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Pretty Ballad (Jarrett) 5.57
02. Lay Lady Lay (Dylan) 4.42
03. Unknown Title 12.05
04. My Back Pages (Dylan) 7.01

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Keith Jarrett – The Köln Concert (1975)

FrontCover1The Köln Concert is a concert recording by the pianist Keith Jarrett of solo piano improvisations performed at the Opera House in Cologne (German: Köln) on January 24, 1975. The double-vinyl album was released in the autumn of 1975 by the ECM Records label to critical acclaim, and went on to become the best-selling solo album in jazz history, and the all-time best-selling piano album, with sales of more than 3.5 million.

The concert was organized by 17-year-old Vera Brandes, then Germany’s youngest concert promoter. At Jarrett’s request, Brandes had selected a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano for the performance. However, there was some confusion by the opera house staff and instead they found another Bösendorfer piano backstage – a much smaller baby grand – and, assuming it was the one requested, placed it on the stage. Unfortunately, the error was discovered too late for the correct Bösendorfer to be delivered to the venue in time for the evening’s concert. The piano they had was intended for rehearsals only and was in poor condition and required several hours of tuning and adjusting to make it playable.[8] The instrument was tinny and thin in the upper registers and weak in the bass register, and the pedals did not work properly. Consequently, Jarrett often used ostinatos and rolling left-hand rhythmic figures during his Köln performance to give the effect of stronger bass notes, and concentrated his playing in the middle portion of the keyboard. ECM Records producer Manfred Eicher later said: “Probably [Jarrett] played it the way he did because it was not a good piano. Because he could not fall in love with the sound of it, he found another way to get the most out of it.”

Jarrett arrived at the opera house late in the afternoon and tired after an exhausting long drive from Zürich, Switzerland, where he had performed a few days earlier. He had not slept well in several nights and was in pain from back problems and had to wear a brace. After trying out the substandard piano and learning a replacement instrument was not available, Jarrett nearly refused to play and Brandes had to convince him to perform as the concert was scheduled to begin in just a few hours.[6] The concert took place at the unusually late hour of 23:30, following an earlier opera performance. This late-night time slot was the only one the administration would make available to Brandes for a jazz concert – the first ever at the Köln Opera House. The show was completely sold out and the venue was filled to capacity with over 1,400 people at a ticket price of 4 DM ($1.72). Despite the obstacles, Jarrett’s performance was enthusiastically received by the audience and the subsequent recording was acclaimed by critics. It remains his most popular recording and continues to sell well, decades after its initial release.

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The performance was recorded by ECM Records engineer Martin Wieland, using a pair of Neumann U-67 vacuum-tube powered condenser microphones and a Telefunken M-5 portable tape machine. The recording is in three parts: lasting about 26 minutes, 34 minutes and 7 minutes respectively. As it was originally programmed for vinyl LP, the second part was split into sections labelled “IIa” and “IIb”. The third part, labelled “IIc”, was actually the final piece, a separate encore.

A notable aspect of the concert was Jarrett’s ability to produce very extensive improvised material over a vamp of one or two chords for prolonged periods of time. For instance, in Part I, he spends almost 12 minutes vamping over the chords Am7 (A minor 7) to G major, sometimes in a slow, rubato feel, and other times in a bluesy, gospel rock feel. For about the last 6 minutes of Part I, he vamps over an A major theme. Roughly the first 8 minutes of Part II A is a vamp over a D major groove with a repeated bass vamp in the left hand, and in Part IIb, Jarrett improvises over an F# minor vamp for about the first 6 minutes.

KeithJarrett1975_03Subsequent to the release of The Köln Concert, Jarrett was asked by pianists, musicologists and others, to publish the music. For years he resisted such requests since, as he said, the music played was improvised “on a certain night and should go as quickly as it comes.”[9] In 1990, Jarrett finally agreed on publishing an authorized transcription but with the recommendation that every pianist intending to play the piece should use the recording itself as the final word. A new interpretation of The Köln Concert was published in 2006 by Polish pianist Tomasz Trzcinski on his album Blue Mountains. A transcription for classical guitar has also been published by Manuel Barrueco.

The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Subtle laughter may be heard from the audience at the very beginning of Part I, in response to Jarrett’s quoting of the melody of the signal bell which announces the beginning of an opera or concert to patrons at the Köln Opera House, the notes of which are G D C G A.

Unlike the other parts of this concert, Part IIc, the encore, was based on a precomposed tune, the form and melody of which can be found in certain Real Book compilations as “Memories of Tomorrow”. This was and remains common practice for Jarrett. Note, for example, that his encores for performances in Bremen (released on Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne) and Tokyo (The Last Solo) are on the same vamp-based tune. He is also fond of closing his solo concerts with Tin Pan Alley standards, particularly “Over the Rainbow”. (by wikipedia)

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Recorded in 1975 at the Köln Opera House and released the same year, this disc has, along with its revelatory music, some attendant cultural baggage that is unfair in one sense: Every pot-smoking and dazed and confused college kid — and a few of the more sophisticated ones in high school — owned this as one of the truly classic jazz records, along with Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue, Take Five, A Love Supreme, and something by Grover Washington, Jr. Such is cultural miscegenation. It also gets unfairly blamed for creating George Winston, but that’s another story. What Keith Jarrett had begun a year before on the Solo Concerts album and brought to such gorgeous flowering here was nothing short of a miracle. With all the tedium surrounding jazz-rock fusion, the complete absence on these shores of neo-trad anything, and the hopelessly angry gyrations of the avant-garde, Jarrett brought quiet and lyricism to revolutionary improvisation. Nothing on this program was considered before he sat down to play. All of the gestures, intricate droning harmonies, skittering and shimmering melodic lines, and whoops and sighs from the man are spontaneous. Although it was one continuous concert, the piece is divided into four sections, largely because it had to be divided for double LP. But from the moment Jarrett blushes his opening chords and begins meditating on harmonic invention, melodic figure construction, glissando combinations, and occasional ostinato phrasing, music changed. For some listeners it changed forever in that moment. For others it was a momentary flush of excitement, but it was change, something so sorely needed and begged for by the record-buying public. Jarrett’s intimate meditation on the inner workings of not only his pianism, but also the instrument itself and the nature of sound and how it stacks up against silence, involved listeners in its search for beauty, truth, and meaning. The concert swings with liberation from cynicism or the need to prove anything to anyone ever again. With this album, Jarrett put himself in his own league, and you can feel the inspiration coming off him in waves. This may have been the album every stoner wanted in his collection “because the chicks dug it.” Yet it speaks volumes about a musician and a music that opened up the world of jazz to so many who had been excluded, and offered the possibility — if only briefly — of a cultural, aesthetic optimism, no matter how brief that interval actually was. This is a true and lasting masterpiece of melodic, spontaneous composition and improvisation that set the standard. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Keith Jarrett (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Part I 26.01
02. Part IIa 14.54
03. Part IIb 18.13
04. Part IIc 6.56

All compositions by Keith Jarrett

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Keith Jarrett – Sleeper Tokyo (1999 – 2012)

FrontCover1A previously unreleased live recording from the 1970s by a short-lived outfit that nonetheless managed to be one of the lastingly influential jazz groups of the era – the “European quartet” of Keith Jarrett (above), with the young Jan Garbarek on sax. Loose, exuberant, tender and edgy, it’s timeless. (The Guardian)
The double album Sleeper contains a previously unreleased live concert by Keith Jarrett’s European quartet from the ’70s, recorded at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza on April 16, 1979. Together with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Jon Christensen, Jarrett performs seven of his own compositions: “Personal Mountains,” “Innocence,” “So Tender,” “Oasis,” “Chant of the Soil,” “Prism,” and “New Dance” — the latter song being the shortest here at seven minutes, while “Oasis” clocks in at over 28 minutes! As a companion piece to the live albums Nude Ants and Personal Mountains (both recorded the same year, even though the latter album was only released in 1989), Sleeper offers another noteworthy document of the creative interplay between these four musicians. (by Christian Genzel)

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Probably the best live recording of the European Quartet. Realy powerfull, one of the best “new” releases of 2015. Sounds modern and far more in the moment, compared to loads of new popular jazz albums. This music screams for listening to it. And right it is.(Erik de Langkruis)

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Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums, percussion)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone, flute, percussion)
Keith Jarrett (piano, percussion)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Personal Mountains 21.12
02. Innocence 10.47
03. So Tender 13.27

CD 2:
04. Oasis 28.13
05. Chant Of The Soil 14.52
06. Prism 11.15
07. New Dance 7.07

All compositions by Keith Jarrett

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