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Album Review

The fourth of Keith Jarrett's solo piano albums turns inward, away from the funky, pulsating melodic inventions of its predecessors toward a more reflective, scattered, never-despairing romanticism well removed from the pulse of jazz. As such, it is paradoxically his weakest solo piano album of the '70s and also the most influential, for here is the blueprint for sensitive meandering that the New Age piano crowd took off upon in the 1980s. A studio session, Staircase is actually only one of four separately titled improvisations on this double album (now on one CD) — the others are "Hourglass," "Sundial" and "Sand" — but their overall moods of repose are so similar that it hardly matters what they are called. One can always admire Jarrett's lovely tone and flexible touch, yet when he gets stuck for ideas, the repetitions finally begin to grate. Maybe he really needs the stimulus of a live audience in order to get the creative and rhythmic juices flowing when flying solo. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

My all-time favorite piece of music

If I had to take one piece of music with me to a desert island, this would be it. With the exception of a music-less six-weeks in USAF basic training (when I whistled it), it's been played at least once a week for the past thirty years. For me, it has a very personal feel to it that draws me into it like a magnet. It's my meditation.

Classic Album

Ah such memories of this gorgeous album. I have the original LP somewhere in our garage. People wonder who my inspirations were for playing the piano, mozart of course, and the prolific keith jarrett. This is one of my favorite LPs of his from back in the 70s. Pick it up, put it on and check out the journey from this prolific intense pianist, you will not be disappointed as he takes you up and down a 'Staircase,' then on to a journey with an 'Hourglass,' then he leads you to a 'Sundial' and finally he takes you to the ocean where you lie on the 'Sand.'


Born: May 8, 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 over 80 albums as a leader...
Full Bio
Staircase, Keith Jarrett
View in iTunes
  • $24.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: May 1976

Customer Ratings


Influenced by This Artist