Saturday, September 30, 2006

Keith Jarrett - Tokyo Solo DVD (ECM, 2006)

This is a video release of a Jarrett solo concert from Japan, recorded in 2002 shortly after he began to recover from his bout with chronic fatigue syndrome and develop a more intensive public performance schedule. He looks fit and healthy on this release and part of the fascination with this DVD is watching Jarrett perform. His predilection for grunting and humming in performance is well known, but it's a trip to watch him twist and contort his body, crossing his hands on the piano at times a la Thelonious Monk and basically throwing his entire physical being in the music. As for the music, he begins each of his lengthy improvisations starting slowly and working his way into a more feveish state as the music develops. It's difficult to understand whether he has some themes or melodies planned when he begins or not. There are long sections of reflective music and distinct melodies that pop up from time to time, but over all the sense is that of a flowing river of music. Fans of Jarrett or of piano music in general would find this enjoyable.

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