it's hard to put into words what these evenings with keith jarrett are like, i was super-fortunate to spend another one tonight in chicago.

on a human level, the vibe was really unusual. he seemed really tired, in a unique way. he seemed healthy though physically tired. beyond that there was a kind of tiredness that can only come from an entire lifetime of giving on an artistic and pianistic level beyond all capacity to comprehend. the visual i had was of beethoven, somewhat spent from a lifetime of creating masterpieces, sitting down and creating 10 new masterpieces in spite of himself. after almost every tune kj projected the vibe like "what could i possibly wring out of the piano after all that's been wrung? i have to do yet more piano playing?" so then he sits down and plays yet another unique, fantastic odyssey. and another and another, playing many encores although obviously way stretched.

maybe he was just a bit tired tonight, i don't know..the piano playing was flawless, perfection, all over the place stylistically, great thick new-sounding vamps with lots of seconds, lots of tonal even triadic beauties alternating with very jagged improvs founded in body-based syncopations.

the strongest impression is that keith has figured out completely how the piano projects in space. all musical parts separated and weighted perfectly to be heard and digested by the audience to create a tapestry that surprises and moves you. the textures, the nuances, constantly shifting, bending the time, harmony, melody, all improvised and utterly controlled, jesus:)

tons of banter with the audience, very light-hearted and spontaneous. keith has more or less retired the piano and possibly music itself, well done maestro, god bless you, let's give him the key to the city and let him do whatever he wants!

dave frank
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nice review dave.
such is the path of keith jarrett, and what a price.
keith has really paid his dues, and we the listeners have
benefited.
yes well i certainly hope his health holds out and we get surprized by him ending up playing into his late 90's.  
you know many of us  experience this phenomena that dave is talking about playing with fatigue.  sometimes i suspect that fatigue can actually help reaching that certain zone that desirable while playing where we let logic go and rely on intuition for our decisions in improvisation. there was a time years ago when i used to gig much more than i do now that i would sometimes do three or even four gigs on a saturday.  a wedding ceremoney in the day to a coctail hour to a wedding reception to dinner gig in a club then to a nightclub gig.  by the last gig sometimes i would think i had nothing left and feel that i sort of met the description that dave has of keith although certainly an infinitly lesser player.  but the point is when i was done playing i would look back on my performance and think.... "wow even though i thought i had nothing left i actually played some of the best stuff i have ever played.
yeah, it was like he was running on empty personally from almost the beginning but it didn't matter to the music..so much funny banter going on, at one point he stopped and asked if there were any requests -the whole place erupted into requests, it was hysterical, he played something different anyway. everything is in the moment with this guy. he said that he was "addicted to an inanimate object (the piano), which led to huge trains of thought about the piano, it's just black and white, why doesn't it do something on its own, the red felt inside the piano adds something "ferrari-esque" to the instrument, on and on, just delightful and interesting..he definately has turned his famous nastiness around the last coupla years, he's very aware of his reputation and tries to be nice, it's great.
might it be the chronic fatigue syndrome he suffers from?
sounds like he's still got it...
hey dave,
   so do you get the sense keith is actually a nicer person  now or is he just acting that way on stage?
feels like he genuinely is trying to be a much nicer person and is aware of his past behavior, not sure if that answers your question:) he said something really interesting friday - he said he truly appreciated us supporting and coming to see him, he knows that people generally don't think that he is grateful..and sometimes he isn't! but when he really is grateful it is a great thing.

all good. once in a lifetime to see kj, if you get the chance, go now.
richest artistic experience i've ever had, one man alone on a stage with a piano.

df
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