Paris / London - Testament Keith Jarrett

Cover Paris / London - Testament

Album info

Album-Release:
2009

HRA-Release:
06.10.2010

Label: ECM Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Avantgarde Jazz

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Part I - Salle Pleyel, Paris13:47
  • 2Part II - Salle Pleyel, Paris10:35
  • 3Part III - Salle Pleyel, Paris07:05
  • 4Part IV - Salle Pleyel, Paris05:33
  • 5Part V - Salle Pleyel, Paris08:45
  • 6Part VI - Salle Pleyel, Paris06:30
  • 7Part VII - Salle Pleyel, Paris06:58
  • 8Part VIII - Salle Pleyel, Paris10:10
  • 9Part I - Royal Festival Hall, London11:08
  • 10Part II - Royal Festival Hall, London08:10
  • 11Part III - Royal Festival Hall, London06:50
  • 12Part IV - Royal Festival Hall, London05:58
  • 13Part V - Royal Festival Hall, London10:34
  • 14Part VI - Royal Festival Hall, London06:53
  • 15Part X - Royal Festival Hall, London05:35
  • 16Part XI - Royal Festival Hall, London08:25
  • 17Part XII - Royal Festival Hall, London08:29
  • 18Part VII - Royal Festival Hall, London08:59
  • 19Part VIII - Royal Festival Hall, London08:00
  • 20Part IX - Royal Festival Hall, London03:55
  • Total Runtime02:42:19

Info for Paris / London - Testament

Testament - Paris / London is yet another high water mark for Jarrett, and all the more remarkable considering how many solo performances he's already released. We may never truly know why Jarrett chooses to release one concert over another, but as long as he continues to deliver performances this stellar, perhaps it's a question that really doesn't need to be answered. (allaboutjazz.com)

Jarrett’s solo concert tradition continues with two highly creative performances of recent vintage – from Paris’s Salle Pleyel on November 26, 2008, followed by London’s Royal Festival Hall on December 1. The English date was Jarrett’s first London solo concert in many years and, in the words of one reviewer, “triggered the sort of ecstasy that might greet a returning prophet”. As with “Radiance” and “The Carnegie Hall Concert”, the music covers a wide arc of expression, as “that old Jarrett magic forges majestically on” (The Guardian).


Keith Jarrett
At the end of 2008, Keith Jarrett added two concerts to his schedule at short notice – one at Paris’s Salle Pleyel (November 26), one at London’s Royal Festival Hall (December 1) . The music on “Testament” is from these concerts. Their range is compendious, Jarrett’s improvisational imagination continually uncovering new forms, in a music stirred by powerful emotions. In his liner notes, the pianist is forthright about the personal circumstances promoting a need to lose himself in the work once more.

He also reminds the reader/listener that “it is not natural to sit at a piano, bring no material, clear your mind completely of musical ideas and play something that is of lasting value and brand new.” This, however, has been the history and substance of the solo concerts since Jarrett initiated them, almost forty years ago . Over time their connection to ‘jazz’ has often become tenuous, yet Jarrett’s solo concerts, with the foregrounding of melody and the continual building, and relinquishing, of structure, are also removed from “free improvisation” as a genre. Jarrett’s solo work is effectively its own idiom, and has been subject to periodic revisions by the pianist. “In the early part of this decade, I tried to bring the format back: starting from nothing and building a universe.”

Since the “Radiance” album and the “Tokyo Solo” DVD of 2002 Jarrett has been adjusting the flow of the work, more often working with shorter blocks of material. “I continued to find a wealth of music inside this open format, stopping whenever the music told me to.” This approach distinguished “The Carnegie Hall Concert” (2006), and it is most effectively deployed in “Testament” , where the strongly-contrasting elements of the sections of the Paris concert in particular have the logic of a spontaneously-composed suite. The nerves-bared London performance (the first UK solo show in 18 years) is different again: “The concert went on and, though the beginning was a dark, searching, multi-tonal melodic triumph, by the end it somehow became a throbbing, never-to-be-repeated pulsing rock band of a concert (unless it was a church service, in which case, Hallelujah!).”

In the end, the improviser does what must be done. As Keith Jarrett said, a long time ago, “If you’re a rock climber, once you’re halfway up the face of the cliff, you have to keep moving, you have to keep going somewhere. And that’s what I do, I find a way.”

These days, however, Jarrett is rationing the number of ascents: there have been less than thirty solo concerts in the last decade, making “Testament” a special event indeed. Two further solo performances are scheduled for 2009 – at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels on October 9, and at Berlin’s Philharmonie on October 12.

Booklet for Paris / London - Testament

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