Wow, what a find on YouTube — a complete, high quality live performance of Keith Jarrett’s “European quartet” with Jan Garbarek (sax), Palle Danielsson (double bass), and Jon Christensen (drums), recorded in Hannover, Germany in 1974. I’ve seen pieces of this, but never the whole thing.
This is Keith in a pretty experimental phase, but not to the point of cacophony like some other free jazz experiments of the time. The intricacy of Jarrett’s compositions is counter-balanced by a shifting, sliding sense of time and phrasing that was one of this band’s unique signatures.
01 - Belonging 0:00
02 - Spiral Dance 5:01
03 - Blossom 19:01
04 - The Windup 34:56 (fade out)
Recorded in Hannover, April 18, 1974, 100th NDR Jazz Workshop, Funkhaus Hannover, Germany
Recorded live in Tokyo, March 30, 1996 at Hitomi Memorial Hall
Keith Jarrett (p)
Gary Peacock (b)
Jack DeJohnette (d)
Many people know this song as “Danny Boy,” but those are just the most popular lyrics for this old Irish tune called “Londonderry Air.” And Keith Jarrett’s solo version of it is definitely one of the most beautiful ever recorded. The internal harmonies he improvises around the melody here are really stunning; especially from about the 4:00 point. Just amazing stuff.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Keith Jarrett, in Japan. In 1973. In a tiny, smoky, crowded sushi bar/jazz club in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, drinking hot sake, transported to a new understanding of music. The realization that a human being could improvise such transcendent music was a huge inspiration, a door opening to a new universe of possibilities. That night we listened to the entire vinyl recording of Facing You and it changed my life.
The Köln Concert was released two years later in 1975, and it remains one of the pinnacles of Jarrett’s live improvised work, with moments so beautiful they’re not of this earth. This YouTube recording is the full album, in high resolution.
Our Sunday evening music is another outstanding track from the Keith Jarrett Trio’s 1996 concert at Tokyo’s Orchard Hall. It starts out as the jazz standard “Last Night When We Were Young,” and mutates into “A Caribbean Sky” in a stunning interplay.Youtube Video
Here’s the Keith Jarrett trio playing live in Tokyo in 1996, at their most telepathic. Starts with a beautifully musical drum solo by Jack DeJohnette.Youtube Video
Keith Jarrett’s encore improvisation from his 1984 solo concert in Tokyo is simply one of the most amazing feats of pianistic technique I’ve ever seen. This video focuses on his hands much of the time, so any piano players out there may want to have a box of tissues handy; you’ll be weeping after you watch.Youtube Video
Every few years I rediscover a monumental work of improvisation, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever recorded: Keith Jarrett’s Solo Concerts: Bremen & Lausanne. I first heard this record in a small sushi bar in Tokyo in 1974, and it hasn’t aged; if anything, it’s more moving and profound than ever.
This four-part video playlist is the second half of the Lausanne concert, beginning with Keith going inside the piano. (The sound is slightly better if you switch the video to 480p.)
This is a 1982 live recording of a Keith Jarrett solo concert in Hamburg, Germany, in which Keith totally reinvents the jazz standard “All The Things You Are,” in a mind-blowing improvisation that takes the tune places it’s never been. The audio track isn’t great, but the performance definitely is.