Album review: Keith Jarrett, La Fenice

Album review: Keith Jarrett, La Fenice 8995300


Gilbert & Sullivan might not be an obvious source of inspiration for Keith Jarrett’s particular form of piano inquiry but The Sun Whose Rays, from The Mikado, fits entirely naturally into this solo concert, recorded in Venice in 2006 but released here for the first time.

By the time Jarrett sat down to play at the Grand Theatre of the Phoenix, to give La Fenice its full English translation, he had been making solo, largely improvised recordings with ECM for thirty-five years. Yet it can still come as a surprise to hear how fully-formed and song-like his spontaneous compositions can be.

Captured over two CDs his eight ‘in the moment’ creations include one that could be the complete backing track for a Randy Newman song and another that might have formed the guide arrangement for one of Jarrett’s Scandinavian Quartet’s gospel inflected groovers from the 1970s.

That special group, which briefly created some of Jarrett’s best-ever ensemble work, might have been on his mind here as, following favourite standards My Wild Irish Rose and Stella By Starlight, he encores with a deliciously tender Blossom from the quartet’s classic 1974 album, Belonging, an extra that’s worth the entrance fee all by itself.

Rob Adams

Source : HeraldScotland

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