Thursday, May 08, 2014

Keith to Ascension

It's the 69th birthday of Keith Jarrett today, so allow me to celebrate with another stellar German TV rebroadcast... this one's Keith's awe-inspiring quartet that featured Jan Garbarek from the halcyon musical days of the mid-1970s, when the bell-bottom trousers were flared and the young ladies' midriffs were bared.
If you're wondering why you never see rebroadcasts of such incredible concerts on American television, it's because you're an oppressed, colonized slave living -- ok, maybe not living so much as existing -- in a cultural gulag-cum-wasteland where TV is the primary means of the subjugation and dumbing-down the wealthy, sociopathic elites of the power structure need to implement the terminal social control -- accompanied by the bereft, disconnected feelings of hopelessness that reinforce the paradigm -- they intend. How else will they complete their ongoing project of stealing every last pertinent, vital resource on Earth from the rest of us, all whilst training us like lapdogs to trumpet our sad condition as an "exceptional" exercise in perfect "freedom"? Ah, but I do digress.
Be all that (truth) as it may, this is surely an exquisite performance, clocking in at almost 90 minutes and encompassing what seems like the entire history of jazz up to 1974. The playing ranges from the free to the filigree, with the four participants attempting to fuse their minds into one musical force throughout. This is music played by a quartet, but so sympathetically it's almost like listening to the mind of one person.
Obviously Jan Garbarek plays his face off as usual, with the heavyweight rhythm section of Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen providing the most eloquent cushion for the stunning melodic outpouring coming from the saxophonist. And KJ is KJ, caressing the 88s as if he is cradling a lover in a hammock on a summer's day.
All you ECM enthusiasts that visit me here better sit up and take notice, because this here is straight through the center of your street. This is a rebroadcast from a couple of years ago, so the picture and sound quality are just about as pristine as they can be... if I had to rate this show on a scale of 1-10 for quality and performance, I'd give it 11 out of 11 on both counts.
Keith Jarrett Quartet
100th NDR Jazz Workshop
Hannover, Germany

01 Belonging
02 Spiral Dance
03 Blossom
04 The Windup
05 Mandala
06 Solstice
07 Long As You Know You're Living Yours
08 Give Me Your Ribbons, I Give You My Bows

Total time: 1:27:55

Keith Jarrett - piano
Jan Garbarek - reeds
Palle Danielsson - bass
Jon Christensen - drums

 PAL DVD from 2011 WDR-TV rebroadcast

2.32 GB/May 2014 archive link
I think a lot of you will really enjoy this set -- really two 45-minute sets -- and I'm sure you'll heartily agree that it's a very appropriate way to celebrate the birthday of one of the world's foremost keyboard and piano masters, born this day in 1945 :)--J.