Monday, 19 October 2009
Keith Jarrett - Testament Paris / London
Keith Jarrett is a piano prodigy and one of jazz's few luminaries to also perform critically acclaimed classical music. Originally a sideman of Miles Davis, he became a global superstar after the success of The Köln Concert in 1975, an impassioned masterpiece of extemporization that became the best-selling solo jazz album of all time. Since then he has continued to play in small groups, no longer as sideman, and periodically returns to the world's great concert halls to perform improvised solo recitals. Throughout the course of these three CDs, Jarrett's playing is sublime, though the Paris concert is not as outstanding as the London. Grunting and moaning, his spinning fingers weave sounds that are idiosyncratic and timeless: ecstatic folk, wonky blues, and haunting classical. Jarrett's oral sound effects are notoriously grating and there is a preponderance of twitching dissonance - this is intensely absorbing and rewarding music, but not for the dinner party.