Friday, September 16, 2022

The Hum of All Spheres


Keith Jarrett - Stockholm Spheres (excerpt)

I know I've covered him something like 677 out of the 705 posts I have done over these last 9 years, but these concerts are too good not to celebrate on their 50th anniversary, so here we go again I guess.

These were taped in September of 1972 and document the destruction when Keith Jarrett met one of his first ancient church organs, as well as one of his first well-recorded forays into the solo piano improvisations for which he would soon become legendary.

I love the organ music of KJ because he is so adamant about his distaste for electric instruments, making a non-electronic pipe organ like this a great middle ground for him to elicit crazy, modern-sounding textures without the use of the power grid.

Full disclosure: my all time favorite album of this guy is Hymns/Spheres, his only all-church-organ platter. When I saw it reissued in the record store they almost had to restrain me.

The idea that this live preview of that LP was captured and broadcast makes me shiver with delight.

And not only did those swanky Swedes at Sveriges Radio pipe out the night of organissimo in question 50 years ago, they had the unparalleled good sense to hump their gear over to the Dramaten -- that's a big, famous theatre in Stockholm -- to grab the man spinning a grand piano on his fingers the next evening.

Spin he does, with a 45-minute whirlwind tour through dynamics that go from a tinkly Bill Evans whisper to a full Fats Waller striding scream and back again.

Then, just when you think he's blown your mind enough, and he's displayed enough talent in one weekend to make Harry Styles think about getting a day job, he returns for an encore with a flute in hand.

All in all, that's two nights and two broadcasts of what music's all about, if you ask me.

Keith Jarrett
Stockholm 1972

(Church of Saint Nicholas)
Stockholm, Sweden

01 Stockholm Spheres

Total time: 42:06

Keith Jarrett - organ

Swedish radio broadcast of unknown generation and capture, remastered and pitch corrected by pervesser goody, March 2022

Stockholm, Sweden

01 Dramaten I: piano
02 Dramaten II: flute

Total time: 50:23

Keith Jarrett - piano & flute

digital capture of a 2015 Sveriges Radio rebroadcast
somewhat denoised, volume boosted +3 dB and retracked by EN, September 2022
248 and 212 MB respectively/direct link

I shall return on Monday with a big birthday bash for someone that gets almost no notoriety, but whose fingerprints are all over a lot of the music I adore.

I'll see you then, after you're through anniversarizing with these stellar Swedish sets of sumptuousness from Keith Jarrett here, who is thankfully still very much alive... and perhaps wondering what show of his I'll be putting up next month, despite my empty protestations of non-repetition.--J.