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Keith Jarrett: The Impulse Story

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Album Review

Keith Jarrett's volume in the Impulse Story series makes for wonderful listening since the period he spent at the label — from 1973 to 1976 — yielded eight albums, most of them with a working band that included bassist Charlie Haden, saxophonist Dewey Redman, and drummer Paul Motian — named informally as "the American Quartet." This set contains 11 cuts. The problematic end is that they come from six of the eight recordings, and the lion's share come from just two: Treasure Island and Bop-Be. The cuts were selected by author Ashley Kahn, who wrote the liner notes to each of the CDs in the series. He is the author of The House That Trane Built; The Impulse Story (in addition to the individual artist titles there is a semi-comprehensive four-disc box set, and a single-disc sampler). Kahn's choosing of these tracks with so much emphasis placed on two albums does cheat the listener of the sheer range expressed on Jarrett's other Impulse recordings. The real bonus here is a solo cut ("Victoria") taken from Jarrett's CD The Impulse Years, now out of print.


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 as a leader...
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Keith Jarrett: The Impulse Story, Keith Jarrett
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