Across the years of my learning about Jazz, his piano playing pops up early and often from first hearing The Köln Concert as a young punk rocker to hearing his early version of “My Back Pages” in a Tokyo neighborhood bar to the most recent of the Trio’s many standards albums, Kieth Jarrett has been Jazz Piano to me. Then there is the delightful work he’s done in the classical repertory as well.
Keith Jarrett hit a milestone this past week: The famed jazz pianist turned 70 years old, and he’s decided to mark the occasion with two new releases. One offers his take on two important classical works; the other, Creation, documents how his creative process plays out in front of a host of live audiences.
For Jarrett, inspiration and execution occur almost simultaneously. He doesn’t know what he’s going to play when; he sits down to play a concert and simply allows the music to come to him. Creation is a collection of live recordings from throughout 2014, reshuffled into what could pass as one long improvised performance.
Jarrett spoke with NPR’s Rachel Martin about the challenge of arranging those disparate moments into something cohesive, and how the experience compares to one of his most famous performances ever. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read an edited version of their conversation below.
More: At 70, Keith Jarrett Is Learning How to Bottle Inspiration : NPR
The audio won’t be available until noon eastern time on Sunday May 10, 2015. When it is, listen and enjoy.