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Album Review

With saxophonist Jan Garbarek and bassist Charlie Haden along for the ride, Keith Jarrett indulges in three slow, rambling, meditative, vaguely neo-classical concertos for piano and string orchestra. While a few of Jarrett's and Garbarek's passages here and there have a syncopated jazz feeling, this is mostly contemporary classical music, perhaps even somewhat ahead of its time (it might fit in with the neo-romantic and minimalist camps today). However, although this music can be attractive in small doses, the lack of tempo or texture contrasts over long stretches of time — particularly the nearly 28-minute "Mirrors" — which can be annoying if you're not in the right blissful mood. Mladen Gutesha and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra perform the string parts with what can only be described as commendable patience. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

If you are in the right mindset...

Have you ever tasted a particular food that overwhelmed your senses? The flavor so intense it made your jaw ache? “Arbour Zena” is like such an experience. Painfully, achingly beautiful. Particularly so are the selections “Solara March” and “Mirrors.” The reviewer is correct in asserting that you have to be in a meditative, reflective mood to enjoy this work, I only listen to it when I’m in the right frame of mind. But my, is this ever the right type of music for such a mood. In “Mirrors” passages such as at 19:53 are so intensely beautiful that you can be moved to tears. I don’t know why Mr. Jarrett and Mr. Garbarek have not worked together since days of Keith’s “European” trio. They created of the most provocative, soul-wrenching and contemplative music you’d ever want to embrace. (Check out the album, “My Song” by Keith Jarrett.) It is hard to believe this work is over twenty-years-old. Another testament to the timelessness of true jazz.

Reunion with an old friend

This album was wonderful in 1976. I tossed the vinyl version in the trash can in the early 80's because it was worn out. Now that it is available on iTunes 30 years later, what is amazing is that I remember every note, every chord progression. If time is the ultimate test of music and the other arts, the lasting draw of these songs and arrangements testifies to their lasting value.

one must be in the mood

but if one is, this is absolutely sublime. Highly recommended. Heartrending.

Top Albums and Songs by Keith Jarrett and Orchestra

Arbour Zena, Keith Jarrett and Orchestra
View In iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Oct 1975

Customer Ratings

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