feb. 17th, keith jarrett solo concert in chicago.  tickets are still available from $65-$75.  i was lucky enough to get some on the left aisle so i can see his hands.  it didn't seem like that were a lot of seats left so good luck.

www.cso.org
There are 15 comments, leave a comment.
after hearing him talking and playing at m.mcpartland  piano jazz i've lost interest in this guy's playing.
i think he has some sort of ego (not saying - mental) problem.
it's really sad.
that´s a part of the charm about him.:)
keith jarrett has always been a wonderful musician in my book; however, he has also been always known as a "prima donna".
i remember him whining and complaining about one note being out of tune (to his ears, which are like dog's ears) on the concert grand piano at a concert hall performance in denver with his trio.   after b####ing and making excuses, he came out and tuned that note himself.

i love the man's music, but it is too often obscured by the prima-donna behavior and that infernal moaning/whining he does while playing.  he apparently has suffered from "chronic fatigue syndrome" for years now.  it seems a lot of performers end up with that -- i wonder what's really the cause of it.

one thing i will agree with adamovski on -- in the mcpartland interview, i was frankly suprised at his reponse when marian asked if he'd like to play "blackberry winter" with her.  he responded that he didn't "know it well enough... right now..."  
lordy, that's the kind of excuse made by an amateur, or a classical player (which is how keith started out and i though he had completely abandoned that whole classical mentality).
from wikipedia

keith jarrett (born may 8, 1945 in allentown, pennsylvania) is an american pianist and composer. he is ethnically hungarian although his grandmother was puerto rican.

early years

jarrett was born in allentown on victory in europe day (the day the allies celebrated victory in europe following world war ii). he grew up with a significant exposure to music. in his teens, he learned jazz and quickly became proficient in it. his talent as a piano player was encouraged, and he became something of a child prodigy. at one point, he had an offer to study composition with the legendary nadia boulanger in paris; this was amiably turned down by jarrett and his mother. his younger brother, chris jarrett, is also a pianist and his other brother scott jarrett is a producer/songwriter. in his early teens, he developed a stronger interest in the contemporary jazz scene: he recalls a dave brubeck show as an early inspiration.

following his graduation from high school, he moved from allentown to boston, massachusetts, where he attended the berklee school of music and played cocktail piano. after about a year in boston, jarrett was kicked out of berklee after being caught late one night playing on an expensive piano with vibes mallets. jarrett then moved to new york city, where he played at the renowned village vanguard club.

in new york, art blakey hired him to play with his jazz messengers band, and he subsequently became a member of the charles lloyd quartet (a group which included jack dejohnette, a frequent musical partner throughout jarrett's career). the lloyd quartet's 1966 album forest flower was one of the most successful jazz recordings of the late 1960s. jarrett also started to record as a leader at this time, in a trio with charlie haden and paul motian. jarrett's first album as a leader, life between the exit signs (1967), appeared around this time on the vortex label, to be followed by restoration ruin (1968), which is easily the most bizarre entry in the jarrett catalog. not only does jarrett barely touch the piano, he plays all the other instruments on what is essentially a folk-rock album, and even does all the singing. jarrett soon recorded another trio album with haden and motian followed later in 1968, this one recorded live for the atlantic label and called somewhere before.
"after about a year in boston, jarrett was kicked out of berklee after being caught late one night playing on an expensive piano with vibes mallets."

lol, is that true?  you never know with wikipedia.
i hate keith jarret's playing...i always thought he was overrated too.

jv'
he may be overrated, but i think he plays the most like a pianist of any jazz pianist i've heard.  wonderful control and mastery of sound.  it's obvious he's got that classical training and "touch" (i swore i'd never use that word!)
performance (going from "live at the village vanguard" to "live at the blue note" is a regressive, painfully reductive experience for this listener). there's also unparallelled "attitude," "ego," "self-belief," and a canny sense of self-promotion. keith's own published statements to the effect that no piano as presently manufactured is worthy of him has created more true believers than doubters.  

keith jarret is lucky people even buy (bought)his albums. i have never seen someone so obviously overated (and lucky at the same time) come off as so arrogant. he really rattle my nerves. personally, i believe that his pompous attitude comes out in his playing as well and i find it disgusting.  


jv'
i actually find his playing quite sensitive and musical, like a fine classically-trained pianist. which he obviously is.
i agree he has always been arrogant.  maybe he is truly insecure and trying to hide the fact that he's not really so great.
i love his playing on "standards", and i really love "spirits" which is like meditation.  he has written some beautiful encouraging words as well.
i think he's more complex than you're giving him credit for.

but i do still think it's funny he wouldn't even try to play blackberry winter and gave mcpartland some lame excuse.  nobody else does that.
i always think it's a mistake to confuse the artist with the person.  an unrealistic (but understandable) mistake is to want great artists to be great human beings.

unfortunately, that doesn't happen all the time; take wagner for example - a horrible man with some (to me) abhorrent political views.  however, i hear his siegfried idyll and i'm blown away.

i'm fairly sure i would have put up with charlie parker as a person for about five minutes.  he stole from everyone that cared about him or ever tried to help him to fund his drug habit.  he would often turn up late for gigs (if he turned up at all) and sometimes he was too off his face to play.  even diz, the man who described him as the other half of my heartbeat' couldn't stand him at times.

however, none of that means that charlie parker isn't one of the greatest musicians in history.

whether you like what you know of keith jarrett as a person is irrelevant when looking at keith jarrett as a musician.  i can understand that people find the grunting distracting, but i find it hard to see how anyone can conceive that there have been 'hundreds of equally brilliant and superior' pianists who have been marginalised as a result of jarrett's popularity.  like who?

the number of records that keith jarrett sells would make him of interest to any big record company in the world and yet he has recorded consistently with ecm - a label willing to take risks, give new artists a chance and record non-mainstream music.  where do you think they get the money to do those things?  if it wasn't for jarrett's sales figures, i bet manfred eichmann's budget for new artists would be significantly smaller.  therefore, it could be argued that jarrett's success has helped, not hindered, other musicians.

as to his significance as a musical figure, it's pretty hard to deny that he has wonderful technique and as fine an ability to create tone and colour on the piano as any jazz pianist.  

other criterion for measuring musical greatness are naturally more subjective but some i always like to use are:

1.) does the performer have a unique and instantly identifiable musical identity?  

i think it would be pretty hard to claim that jarrett is a clone of anybody that came before him and does not possess an instantly identifiable sound.


2.) has the performer been influential for musicians who came after him?  listen to brad mehldau, listen to esbjorn svensson, listen to tord gustavsson.  you can hear jarrett's influence in so many younger players, just as you can hear, say, bill evans' influence on jarrett.


3.) is the performer an innovator?

jarrett was part of the charles lloyd group that was one of the first jazz groups to reach out to a non-jazz audiences.  they dressed like rock musicians and played at pop festivals and introduced jazz to a whole new audience.

the decision by the keith jarret trio to return to recording standards, instead of original compostions came at a time when nobody was really recording that material.  his success with that material paved the way for other musicians to re-interpret those tunes at a time when everyone felt you had to write you own material to be taken seriously.

his performance of totally improvised solo piano concerts was totally new to the jazz world and had never been done before.  

etc, etc.  

i understand why people don't like keith jarrett's persona at times and i can certainly appreciate that not everyone will like his music or his way of playing, but i don't see how anyone could say that he shouldn't be considered one of the most innovative and influential pianists there has been.
a lot of fats waller's voicings in the right hand are doubled up with an octave the same way you would voice block chords. for example:

for a c major chord in the right hand you would have the notes as followed:

c            e        g         c
(tonic)                       (octave)

or
that's what makes this music great.  keith strikes a chord with me on nearly all his work.  love the standards, not as crazy about his extended works.  i would pay the going rate to see him in concert so yeah, i guess i am a fan.  i wouldn't really care to sit over coffee and discuss music with him, so my fanship only goes so far.
report from kj chicago concert.

the concert hall is beautiful -- a very nice setting for any concert. keith started off on the wrong foot when 30 seconds into the first song, somebody in the audience started coughing. he stopped playing and made a comment about how she should give us one more even more powerful cough. it was funny but at the same time pompuous.

fortunately, after the coughing incident he changed the song and played a cool improvisation over a fixed groovy right hand base riff. this was probably the best song of the night. most of the other songs were very free jazzy tunes that i did not appreciate very much.

the second set, after intermission, was much shorter than the first one. i liked a blues piece that he played -- the second song of the second set. then after the really short set he got up and left. only to do so many encores that i lost count. probably 6 encores. i think he was trying to squeeze out the utmost maximum of applause possible. the guy clearly has some ego issues.

in short the guy has monster chops but played mostly free-er jazz than i appreciate. my wife was bored to death unfortunately.

i'd like to hear opinions from other concertgoers !
oscar peterson once said,that no matter if there is 20 poeople or 2000,he always gives the audience the best he can.
mr.jarret on the other side,seems to play mostly for himself.he's "free" stuff at times sounds to me like he has no clue what to do with those 88 keys.
sorry,but that is the way i see it.
jarrett is a consummate pianist.  he definitely knows how to play the instrument, unlike a lot of other "jazz" bangers.

everything i've ever heard of his is excellent.
it's the attitude and the moaning that i don't care for.
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