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Posted By: Simon_b Keith Jarrett - 04/29/22 09:24 PM
Hi

I was reading another thread a while ago where one of his versions of Over the Rainbow was posted, and it got me to thinking.

Is Keith Jarrett the greatest improviser, on any instrument, in the history of recorded music?

From what I've read online the first recordings of any sort of music were made in about 1860, but it wasn't until decades later that any 'serious' music was recorded.

Jarrett's ability to improvise with no pre-conceived form, which to my knowledge is unique, not to mention his huge output of Jazz recordings must give him a strong claim. Especially if we restrict the question to Piano only.

That said my knowledge of any modern 'classical' musicians who might have improvising skills is minimal.

I'd be interested to hear other recommendations and suggestions.

Cheers
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/29/22 11:20 PM
I think other jazz pianists and some classical pianists can improvise with no preconceived form. And many jazz pianists have numerous recordings. Where Jarrett ranks as a jazz pianist depends on whom you ask.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by Simon_b
Is Keith Jarrett the greatest improviser, on any instrument, in the history of recorded music?

It's hard to say, because there is always uncertainty. It will be safe to say that he is among the most skillful improvisers.

Originally Posted by Simon_b
That said my knowledge of any modern 'classical' musicians who might have improvising skills is minimal.

And that is what adds to the uncertainty.
Posted By: JP Thomas Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 01:23 AM
Jarrett was strongly influenced by pianist Paul Bley, and also by the Ornette Coleman school (Coleman, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry). All of these musicians were doing free improvisation years before Jarrett started to do so in public. Jarrett's exquisite technique and more gentle, meditative approach to free playing meant that he could sell 10-LP boxed sets of the stuff and live like a squire on a New Jersey estate (at least, after he sold a gazillion copies of his Koln double LP and made it possible for ECM fund itself for eternity), whereas his mentors stayed less well known and decidedly more middle class.

When it comes to jazz, you have to distinguish between free playing and more standard soloing over predefined chord changes. I'd say there's far from any sort of critical consensus that Jarrett is the greatest improvisor when it comes to playing changes. I've never actually seen a jazz writer or musician come close to suggesting that. And given that jazz has over a century of recorded performances, with dozens of sub-genres, there really is no way to say any given musician is the greatest in any dimension. To compare James P. Johnson to Bud Powell to Herbie Hancock to Brad Mehldau just doesn't make sense, any more than comparing Bach to Mozart to Mahler to Steve Reich.

If you want to get a handle on Jarrett's relationship to Bley and Ornette, and thus on much of his improvised and original music, I'd recommend Ethan Iverson's survey of his work from 1967-1977 here:

https://ethaniverson.com/shades-of-jazz-keith-jarrett-charlie-haden-paul-motian-dewey-redman/
Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 09:55 AM
Originally Posted by Simon_b
Jarrett's ability to improvise with no pre-conceived form, which to my knowledge is unique,

This is an illusion. In fact, an experienced improviser - be it a musician or a poet - has a certain number of developed structures in his pocket, which he pulls out along the way. This also applies to the duration of the improvisation. My former colleague, the most famous improviser in Russia in the 1960s and 1970s, who was also influenced by Paul Bley, arranged solo improvisation at concerts quite accurately within 40 minutes; which also requires well-established development techniques.
Posted By: chromaticvortex Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 01:23 PM
Yeah, all relevant points made...yep there's always some structure to improv, because improvisers do *practice*. But think of it in terms of math. There's a big range there between 100% improvised and 0% improvised. 0% being rote classical/memorized recitation, 50% maybe being something like more traditional jazz. 100% improvised doesn't exist. That's a child sitting down at the piano for the first time (which was me as a kid, btw) just coming up with random stuff. Yet sometimes that's how I feel as an adult, too. The difference is that I've mapped out pathways for almost thirty years. Just having access to the keys is the same as mapping pathways. That's the technical pathway. That then gives you leverage to improvise as well, but you've already mapped a bunch of stuff.

We all have a radar for where are hands can go and what they can do. In improvisation, the mind directs them. I have different modes of improv. Practice mode and performance mode. They're quite similar, but practice mode is the explore stage where I push and develop. I don't worry about staying on track because I'm experimenting and building.

Yeah Jarrett is very good but there are others. And it's just a matter of personal opinion what one's tastes are. Personally I can't stay away from some runs, passages, etc., that show up by rote in my "improvisation". Or maybe they're mostly the same and there's part that's an improv layer, etc. It's fairly relative, though. Take any composer and their works are all distinct in terms of the footprint of their exact notes, but there are so many similarities. That's why some people with a good ear can tell exactly who the composer is within a few seconds of hearing the piece (without identifying the piece itself, just by hearing the composer's style). It can be hard to crack improv, because it's straight from the musician's head and fingers into to the air, maybe we can more in the future with computers.
Posted By: joggerjazz Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 02:06 PM
I think all composers and musicians have tendencies that the subconscious filters no matter how averse we try.
A good study would be a musician with multiple personalities perhaps.
Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 02:29 PM
Anyway, to improvise freely - as strange as it sounds - is much more difficult than on the charts with harmony; it requires comparatively advanced composing skills.
Posted By: dpvjazz Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 03:01 PM
Simon b
[Jarrett's ability to improvise with no per-conceived form, which to my knowledge is unique]

https://ethaniverson.com/shades-of-jazz-keith-jarrett-charlie-haden-paul-motian-dewey-redman/

Some see Jarrett as nonpareil, a unique being without influences. In interviews, Jarrett can occasionally sound like he drinks that kool-aid himself.

It’s just not true. The notion of “innovation” usually means, “a fresh way of combining older elements.” Jarrett was one of a generation trying to make a new sound by mixing and matching styles. The whole compass of European classical music, rock music with an unabashed backbeat, avant-garde music, atonality, and mixed meter were on the table. Earlier jazz musicians had flirted with many of those elements, but now serious relationships were being consummated.

Here is another great pianist that I feel is underrated

Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 07:34 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Personally I can't stay away from some runs, passages, etc., that show up by rote in my "improvisation".

I know what you mean. The well-established runs and patterns -- or variations of them (as there is sometimes some freedom to use bits any various appropriate stages or times) are heard a lot, as that information is stuck in the system. But every now and again, due to some freedom with choices that can be made while applying the 'rules' of composition/music - as in deciding what scale run to play or arpeggio run, or which arpeggio pattern, or which note set of notes/keys to push for a chord sound ------ some interesting music can possibly come out, maybe even surprising the piano player themselves.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by Nahum
This is an illusion. In fact, an experienced improviser - be it a musician or a poet - has a certain number of developed structures in his pocket, which he pulls out along the way. This also applies to the duration of the improvisation. My former colleague, the most famous improviser in Russia in the 1960s and 1970s, who was also influenced by Paul Bley, arranged solo improvisation at concerts quite accurately within 40 minutes; which also requires well-established development techniques.

I agree. There are structures - sort of like learned building blocks and/or patterns that often exist within improvised pieces, which are embedded or planted within the piano player (learned from their experiences with other music they absorbed before). There will be at least some level of pre-conceived form for some sections. A mix of some pre-conceived and some new or unforeseen within an improvisation performance.
Posted By: Simon_b Re: Keith Jarrett - 04/30/22 10:34 PM
Hi

Thanks for all the interesting responses.

From interviews I've read with Jarrett he certainly doesn't seem to agree with the general opinion here that improvisation is, at least to some extent, based on previously developed structures and forms. However, I basically agree with the majority here. I think he is a bit deluded if he believes that everything he improvises is new and created on the spur of the moment.

I'm familiar with, and own Paul Bley recordings. I don't think being influenced by him in any way diminishes Jarrett's status. All pianists in the era of recorded music have been influenced by others.

But I agree you cannot definitively say any one player is the best improviser.

My question was deliberately a bit provocative to create a response. Non-classical had gone a bit quiet recently! The stupid GOAT <sport> debates that fill social media are banal.

Comparing players from different eras, let alone different instruments, is almost impossible. I've no doubt there are dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of musicians in the recording era who could make a case to be considered.

My own view is that Keith Jarrett has a strong case; at least to be considered among the best, not only because of his solo improv concerts and Jazz playing, but also because of his study of the 'classical' repertoire (including Shostakovich, Mozart, Handel and Bach), which if you listen to many of his solo concerts he incorporates into his improvisations.

Thanks for the Danny Zeitlin recommendation dpvjazz; if I can find something at a sensible price I'll certainly get some recordings by him.

Cheers
Posted By: chromaticvortex Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 03:37 PM
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Personally I can't stay away from some runs, passages, etc., that show up by rote in my "improvisation".

I know what you mean. The well-established runs and patterns -- or variations of them (as there is sometimes some freedom to use bits any various appropriate stages or times) are heard a lot, as that information is stuck in the system. But every now and again, due to some freedom with choices that can be made while applying the 'rules' of composition/music - as in deciding what scale run to play or arpeggio run, or which arpeggio pattern, or which note set of notes/keys to push for a chord sound ------ some interesting music can possibly come out, maybe even surprising the piano player themselves.

Maybe so. I don’t apply others’ rules myself. Not really. This can result in strange and unusual music. Moreover I come up with my own “rules” which are more like experimental discoveries and creations. I only consider the fundamentals of music theory (of which I know relatively little anyway) very crudely when I improvise, and rely more on my eyes and hands to explore, and my ears to assess.
Posted By: chromaticvortex Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 03:51 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Personally I can't stay away from some runs, passages, etc., that show up by rote in my "improvisation".

I know what you mean. The well-established runs and patterns -- or variations of them (as there is sometimes some freedom to use bits any various appropriate stages or times) are heard a lot, as that information is stuck in the system. But every now and again, due to some freedom with choices that can be made while applying the 'rules' of composition/music - as in deciding what scale run to play or arpeggio run, or which arpeggio pattern, or which note set of notes/keys to push for a chord sound ------ some interesting music can possibly come out, maybe even surprising the piano player themselves.

Maybe so. I don’t apply others’ rules myself. Not really. This can result in strange and unusual music. Moreover I come up with my own “rules” which are more like experimental discoveries and creations. I only consider the fundamentals of music theory (of which I know relatively little anyway) very crudely when I improvise, and rely more on my eyes and hands to explore, and my ears to assess.

But I forgot to mention the part about the well-established runs and patterns are there for me too…little mini/compositions I’ve come up with. It’s just that I don’t implement them and repeat them very consciously. It’s more like muscle memory and comfort zone grounding. I try to consciously vary them to push the envelope through modulations based mostly on coordination and a sense of thinking of the next transition in space and time rather than in terms of harmony…I think very chromatically and play more “by ear” than intellectually. Whenever people ask me questions about my playing it’s hard for me to answer.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 03:52 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Maybe so. I don’t apply others’ rules myself. Not really. This can result in strange and unusual music. Moreover I come up with my own “rules” which are more like experimental discoveries and creations. I only consider the fundamentals of music theory (of which I know relatively little anyway) very crudely when I improvise, and rely more on my eyes and hands to explore, and my ears to assess.

It's 'structures' that are well ingrained from learning ------ learning from other people's music. Also - sure - it can be complemented by own 'rules' too ----- which are those particular runs or passages/structures that you developed yourself - which can be ingrained too.

The application of particular structures doesn't necessarily (or even generally) mean without some thought or fore-thought or pre-conditioning. It is done with some thought, and understanding of how to apply it ----- so as to cut down or even eliminate chances of strange and unusual music. Although - for sure, if one doesn't or hasn't yet developed understanding or skill to do that --- then for sure, there can be strange and unusual music come out ----- so basically, needs work in terms of understanding and/or development.
Posted By: chromaticvortex Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 03:54 PM
But I like strange and unusual music. For me, that’s the whole point. If it weren’t that, why would I do it? It’d just be derivative.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 03:58 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
But I like strange and unusual music. For me, that’s the whole point. If it weren’t that, why would I do it? It’d just be derivative.

What I mean by strange and unusual is more along the lines of seemingly no context, or random, or ..... eg. a mess. But I'm sure that your music is not that at all. Yours most likely has some order - structure etc - some appeal factor to some people or some group or groups. Although - even if there is not - then that's ok too!

I like hearing some abstract sorts of music too sometimes.
Posted By: chromaticvortex Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 04:00 PM
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
But I like strange and unusual music. For me, that’s the whole point. If it weren’t that, why would I do it? It’d just be derivative.

What I mean by strange and unusual is more along the lines of seemingly no context, or random, or ..... eg. a mess. But I'm sure that your music is not that at all. Yours most likely has some order - structure etc.

It does always have some. But sometimes it’s just very basic, with a heavy layer of experimentation.

I think I know what you mean. I’ve heard some improv that is just almost like…banging on the keys. I don’t really do that. Mine is usually grounded in precision, because I like to be conscious of what I’m playing.

But harmonically it often doesn’t have structure I’m thinking about much. I come up with my own little experiments and try to bring them around.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
It does always have some. But sometimes it’s just very basic, with a heavy layer of experimentation.

That's excellent CV. Experimentation is great.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Mine is usually grounded in precision, because I like to be conscious of what I’m playing.

This is what really amazes me - and what I appreciate. Having those particular skills or abilities that you have to create what you create - in that particular way. Still maybe one of the processes or mechanisms that hasn't been properly understood by people yet. It is very interesting and intriguing.
Posted By: chromaticvortex Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/01/22 04:27 PM
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Mine is usually grounded in precision, because I like to be conscious of what I’m playing.

This is what really amazes me - and what I appreciate. Having those particular skills or abilities that you have to create what you create - in that particular way. Still maybe one of the processes or mechanisms that hasn't been properly understood by people yet. It is very interesting and intriguing.

Exactly. Yes, thank you. We all have unique and complex creativity in us. It’s the individual factors we bring to our creative process, that others don’t have, and which are special. But none of us is born with the technique or mode to express it, and that’s where a great deal of our creative development comes in…well that’s kind of how I see it anyway (specifically regarding artistic creativity, which pushes boundaries anyway by default, but is forced to use some order and structure otherwise it isn’t given enough form to be delivered or received cohesively).
Posted By: Nahum Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/01/22 04:50 PM
Originally Posted by SouthPark
What I mean by strange and unusual is more along the lines of seemingly no context, or random, or ..... eg. a mess.
In the improvisations of young K.J. can be heard clearly. that he worked hard on the reproduction of human speech in piano, under the influence of free jazz gurus , also Paul Bley; and the soprano saxophone became an auxiliary for this purpose. I myself have walked this path using the alto saxophone. I'm sure these Jarrett recordings didn't become popular; but it is impossible to talk about chaos - logic exists one way or another. The adult human brain does not allow to act otherwise, only through patterns (Behaviorism).
Derek Bailey raised the slogan of non-idiomatic music that I called: "Leap above the navel!"I would like to, but it doesn't work...
Posted By: Greener Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/01/22 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by Simon_b
8...
From interviews I've read with Jarrett he certainly doesn't seem to agree with the general opinion here that improvisation is, at least to some extent, based on previously developed structures and forms. However, I basically agree with the majority here. I think he is a bit deluded if he believes that everything he improvises is new and created on the spur of the moment.
...
My own view is that Keith Jarrett has a strong case; at least to be considered among the best, not only because of his solo improv concerts and Jazz playing, but also because of his study of the 'classical' repertoire (including Shostakovich, Mozart, Handel and Bach), which if you listen to many of his solo concerts he incorporates into his improvisations.
...

Yeah, if he wasn't such a brat maybe. He acts like a man-child from what I've read about him, Simon. Does he get off the hook lecturing audiences for coughing or the odd picture flash because of his extraordinary creativity?
Posted By: SouthPark Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/01/22 10:37 PM
Originally Posted by Nahum
In the improvisations of young K.J. can be heard clearly. that he worked hard on the reproduction of human speech in piano, under the influence of free jazz gurus, also Paul Bley; and the soprano saxophone became an auxiliary for this purpose. I myself have walked this path using the alto saxophone. I'm sure these Jarrett recordings didn't become popular; but it is impossible to talk about chaos - logic exists one way or another. The adult human brain does not allow to act otherwise, only through patterns (Behaviorism).
Derek Bailey raised the slogan of non-idiomatic music that I called: "Leap above the navel!"I would like to, but it doesn't work...

I think I know what you mean nahum. Pushing keys randomly ..... as as randomly as possible .. will get towards total chaos. While western type music and related music has style(s) or some structure/patterns involved. Some rules of western music applied. Experimentation can offer interesting results that could be appealing to some people, and maybe not so appealing to some others.

Saxaphone is a great instrument ..... allowing for pitchbend/intonation that keyboards can't accurately replicate. Pitch bend wheel for some sorts of alto sax tunes can be used to give a rough impression of some sorts of sax playing ... but no way to produce anything even close to real sax playing in real time.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/01/22 10:40 PM
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
We all have unique and complex creativity in us. It’s the individual factors we bring to our creative process, that others don’t have, and which are special. But none of us is born with the technique or mode to express it, and that’s where a great deal of our creative development comes in…well that’s kind of how I see it anyway (specifically regarding artistic creativity, which pushes boundaries anyway by default, but is forced to use some order and structure otherwise it isn’t given enough form to be delivered or received cohesively).

Totally agree with you CV! That is really well put. Excellently put really.
Posted By: indigo_dave Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/04/22 05:00 PM
Jarrett has been influenced by a lot of different music(s). Yes, back in the late 1960's thru the 70's he gave a big nod to Ornette and Bley. I just pulled up (on YouTube) his "Paris Concert" from 1988 - a 38 minute improvisation....I'd argue that early on he engages in some Bachisms - dipping his (musical) toes into some counterpoint. Later he drifts into a loose ostinato later on and seems to engage in some Bach styled harmony at times.

Listening to KJ playing G.A.S. (great American songbook) tunes, you can often hear him using voice leading....should we attribute this to Bach or Bill Evans ? Probably Bach I'd guess. Not simply copying, but using the musical logic.

I'd say a high level improvisor would be someone who has digested a lot of musical nuts and bolts - his mind's ear hears them working.

I would submit that if Jacob Collier wished to corral himself into simply being a jazz pianist, he'd blow many musicians' tops. He's busy frying other fish. I'd argue that based on certain of his works for Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn could have been a contender. If you listen to the album "Masterpieces by Ellington" in 1950 - reportedly arranged by Strayhorn but uncredited at the time of release - I'd say that the musical mind that created those arrangements was a candidate for greatest improvisor - but completely hypothetical. There was a mention in David Haju's bio of Strayhorn IIRC that he did some sitting in on a Bud Powell gig and held his own - probably back in the 1940's. As I recall anyway.

My personal musical sweet spot for Jarrett is indeed those 1970's Impulse recordings. I believe he took inspiration from Ornette Coleman and went deeper and more varied.
Posted By: indigo_dave Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/04/22 07:59 PM
Originally Posted by indigo_dave
My personal musical sweet spot for Jarrett is indeed those 1970's Impulse recordings. I believe he took inspiration from Ornette Coleman and went deeper and more varied.

A few examples of my absolute favorite KJ's on the Impluse recordings - some things from "Treasure Island" particularly "Fullovalluvous" (sp?) and "Angles Without Edges" .....I think these 2 are Ornette influenced, but KJ goes avant gardish (I'd say) and figures out ways to use major triads while he's at it. Just 2 examples.

I also love his "Southern Smiles" from the "Shades" album. Using basically triads and dominant 7th chords - he creates such fresh sounding music.

A few specific examples.
Posted By: Simon_b Re: There's a system in this madness - 05/04/22 09:22 PM
Hi Dave

I witnessed one KJ's tantrums up close in the early 1990s. I went to see him play a solo concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I was in the choir seats (behind the stage) about 15-20 feet from the Grand Piano (not amplified as I recall). A few people coughed during a very quiet section and he lost it.... But it was a great concert, which was broadcast on BBC R4 a few weeks later. I still have a recording of it. The BBC edited the tantrum out.

I bought Treasure Island not that long ago and liked it. You're right about the Paris concert, that particular recording was one that I have, where he seemed to be including 'classical' references in his improvisations. I think possibly Handel as well as Bach.

My favourite KJ recordings are the European Quartet (Beginnings & Personal Mountains) and the standards Trio. Particularly the monumental Live at the Blue Note boxed set. Though as a one-off I think The Deer Head Inn album is great. As near to KJ having fun as I've ever heard.

Contrary to one of the previous posters I think his improvisations over 'changes', rather than free, are up there with the very best.

My most recent purchase is the Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett album from about 1970, where sin of sins he plays electric Piano and there's electric guitar on it as well. Used to have a cassette recording of the album decades ago. Still as good as I remember it.

Cheers
Posted By: dpvjazz Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/04/22 11:58 PM
SIMON B you probably already saw these but I just wanted to share. I saw Keith three times and all three were truly amazing. He did not pout or throw a tantrum and he played each time at least 2 hours and it blew my mind that three musicians could play at that level.






Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 04:42 AM
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Saxaphone is a great instrument ..... allowing for pitchbend/intonation that keyboards can't accurately replicate. Pitch bend wheel for some sorts of alto sax tunes can be used to give a rough impression of some sorts of sax playing ... but no way to produce anything even close to real sax playing in real time.
My student heard a solo concert by K.J. in Greece ; and noted that the pianist was extracting quarter tones from the instrument. You can sometimes hear this effect on oriental or blues style recordings. One day during the period when I was working really hard on imitating Jarrett's playing by recording myself, I spontaneously got a glissandon - I have no idea how. I tried to connect two notes, combining different attacks, dynamics and timing of the second note. Replay was no longer possible; and the record is lost.
Just in Flying Part 2, Jarrett imitates the style of Ornette Coleman very well.
Posted By: Simon_b Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 07:16 AM
Thanks dpvjazz

I'd seen the Mozart one before, but not the other two. Great stuff. I saw the Standards trio about a year after the solo concert and there were no tantrums at that one.

I was reading a 2016 interview with KJ yesterday and he explained why the Standards trio ceased playing together, which I'd always wondered about. It was because Gary Peacock was losing his hearing, and that started impacting the way the band played together. In the end they just couldn't do what they had been doing for the previous 30 years because of it.

Cheers
Posted By: johnlewisgrant Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 12:56 PM
"It's 'structures' that are well ingrained from learning ------ learning from other people's music. Also - sure - it can be complemented by own 'rules' too ----- which are those particular runs or passages/structures that you developed yourself - which can be ingrained too."

Sums it up, for me.

BTW, if you're sampling from the entire history of modern (Western) music, some folks have suggested that good old J.S. Bach could improvise on any tune you cared to throw at him, and he do it contrapuntally to boot.

Speaking of Jarrett in the strictly classical realm. His Shostakovich P&F are right at the top of recorded performances. His Bach WTC, not so much. His Handel Suites, according to classical critics, are still the best interpretations ever recorded. I concur. His Handel has swing, which other interpretations completely lack. His approach to the big H. works so well that you would have to conclude that Handel SHOULD swing, that Handel MEANT his music to swing.
Posted By: Sir Lurksalot Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 01:55 PM
At the risk of continuing down the path that strayed a bit from the original topic: I attended a KJ solo concert in 1981. No tantrum, but when he arrived on stage around 8:15 and the applause died down, he scolded a few late arrivers, explaining that even though he hadn't started playing, the "musical moments" began at the published 8pm concert time.
Posted By: johnlewisgrant Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 03:08 PM
Attended his last concert in Toronto. True to form, he stood up somewhere in the middle of the concert and repeatedly hit one note (somewhere above C5 on the piano) and said to the audience, essentially: "Do you hear that? Listen to that note. There's something wrong with that note...."

Needless to say, the piano tech was working pretty hard during the intermission to fix the "problem".

Personally, I couldn't hear it. No problem for me.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 03:20 PM
True ..... he does have some interesting personality and/or behaviour that goes against the grain. But we got to hand it to him. Just based on his piano playing ability and musical skills ... he does have something special ... music-wise.
Posted By: beeboss Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/05/22 06:13 PM
Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
Speaking of Jarrett in the strictly classical realm. His Shostakovich P&F are right at the top of recorded performances. His Bach WTC, not so much.

The Bach he recorded with Makarski is some of the most beautiful Bach I have ever heard ...

Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/06/22 09:02 AM
Originally Posted by beeboss
The Bach he recorded with Makarski is some of the most beautiful Bach I have ever heard ...
This still requires discussion. I prefer Menuhin's version.

Posted By: beeboss Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/06/22 09:35 AM
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by beeboss
The Bach he recorded with Makarski is some of the most beautiful Bach I have ever heard ...
This still requires discussion. I prefer Menuhin's version.

I don't mean to suggest that the Jarrett version is objectively much better than any other version in recorded history, only that the Jarrett/Makarski version is up there with some of the best in my opinion. You may not agree, that is fine.

I only posted my opinion because probably most people here have never heard the Jarrett/Makarski recording and are missing out on a beautiful experience.
Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/06/22 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by beeboss
I don't mean to suggest that the Jarrett version is objectively much better than any other version in recorded history, only that the Jarrett/Makarski version is up there with some of the best in my opinion. You may not agree, that is fine.

I only posted my opinion because probably most people here have never heard the Jarrett/Makarski recording and are missing out on a beautiful experience.

In fact, the order should have been different: Makarski / Jarrett, who plays the cembalo obbligato. Yes, I have never heard this version before, and don't think that I will return to it again. What I have written applies only to the violinist. It is an anemic performance with signs of asthma, compared to Menuhin's colossal breathing, where every fraction of a second of sounding radiates music of heavenly beauty.
Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/06/22 03:31 PM
https://s9.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/c/c4/IMSLP84031-PMLP05971-bach-6son_cemb_vl-m.pdf - 92 on pages counter.
Posted By: beeboss Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/06/22 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by Nahum
In fact, the order should have been different: Makarski / Jarrett, who plays the cembalo obbligato.

Yes, Jarrett is just an accompanist.

Maybe you prefer the folk Jarrett...

Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/06/22 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by beeboss
Maybe you prefer the folk Jarrett...
Yes, quotes "A Love Supreme"))
Posted By: indigo_dave Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/07/22 05:17 PM
Regarding the beeboss KJ "Have A Real Time" from Restoration Ruin. I never came across this. I think it stands up - I was happily surprised to hear KJ singing in tune. I have a vague memory from 40 years ago hearing a little bit from "Life Between the Exit Signs" (this is my memory anyway) and noticing some pitchy singing.
Posted By: Nahum Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/07/22 05:34 PM
Originally Posted by indigo_dave
I never came across this. I think it stands up - I was happily surprised to hear KJ singing in tune. I have a vague memory from 40 years ago hearing a little bit from "Life Between the Exit Signs" (this is my memory anyway) and noticing some pitchy singing.
I can imagine how jealous he was of his brother, a professional pop singer. K J buzzed rhythm and articulation, which helps a lot in improvisation.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/07/22 07:51 PM
Originally Posted by beeboss
Yes, Jarrett is just an accompanist.
Maybe you prefer the folk Jarrett...

Nice relaxing music. They put the sax and percussion fully on the left channel. Adding a bit to the right channel would be nice.
Posted By: Simon_b Re: Keith Jarrett - 05/07/22 09:26 PM
Hi

That's a KJ album I'd not heard of, and I never knew he sang lead vocals anywhere.

For those that don't know he used to play guitar quite a lot when he was younger. One night Stan Getz was at a club where he was playing (guitar), and after the gig Getz offered him a job as a guitarist....

An incredible talent.

Cheers
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