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Vienna Concert

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Album Review

Keith Jarrett feels that this is his finest solo concert; having "courted the flame for a very long time," he writes, this music speaks "the language of the flame itself." Perhaps playing in the European-tradition-encrusted Vienna Staatsoper had an overt influence, for never has a recorded Jarrett solo concert fallen into such a logical, even classical overall structure as this one — all on the wing, mind you. Part I develops in a majestic 41-minute arch, opening with a simple chorale, devotional and trenchant, and suddenly kicking into a daring, complex, agitated toccata without a key center, technically dazzling and darting. That coalesces into a grand tonal passage with inferences of the great European piano concertos before subsiding into a quietly affirmative finale. Part II is shorter and less rigorously structured, surging and ebbing around shimmering tremolos and a brief pulsating rhythm, alternately evoking the Middle East and the medieval Dies Irae. Jarrett's exalted judgment is close to the mark; though more Eurocentric than ever, these are his most impressive solo performances since Sun Bear. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: 08 May 1945 in Allentown, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist, composer, and bandleader Keith Jarrett is one of the most prolific, innovative, and iconoclastic musicians to emerge from the late 20th century. As a pianist (though that is by no means the only instrument he plays), he literally changed the conversation in jazz by introducing an entirely new aesthetic regarding solo improvisation in concert. Though capable of playing in a wide variety of styles, Jarrett is deeply grounded in the jazz tradition. He has recorded nearly 80 albums...
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