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I've never seen anything like him... (Keith Jarrett)


Sundown

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Hey all,

 

I've certainly heard of Keith Jarrett (you can't read Keyboard for 25+ years and not know who he is), but I had never seen him play. I was searching YouTube the other night, and I stumbled upon a live performance.

 

In short, I've never seen anyone physically play a piano like he does. He's standing up, he's sitting down, he's kneeling but not actually sitting on the bench, he's grooving left and right, etc. If I did any of that it would be mistake central. He didn't miss a beat.

 

Quite entertaining.

 

Todd

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Good luck, Mark. I was present for one of his tantrums at Carnegie. Never again. I came thisclose to shouting at him to STFU. Maybe that little prick should stop scheduling his shows there during the winter when, you know, everyone is sick. :idea:
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People pay good money to go to sporting events never knowing if they're going to leave thrilled by their team or angry and disappointed. You don't usually have that mindset going to concerts, but maybe sometimes you've got to change your Expectations. (Pun intended.)

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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The tip is to watch him in a Trio. He never complains about coughing then. His tantrums seem to be reserved for Solo piano.

 

But I have to admit, I cringed everytime someone coughed in the Trio concert, expecting him to do something. Fortunately, nothing but smiles from KJ.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Wow... I had no idea about the back story on this... I just stumbled upon one of his performances on YouTube after looking at some Bill Evans clips.

 

Suffice to say, it sounds like he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Jarrett is great and I can forgive him for his occasional temperamental outbursts. Nothing wrong with demanding they turn off the video cameras, imo.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." 

Harry teaches jazz piano online using Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, or Google Meet.

 

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Agreed - he is a god! Oozing with melody.

 

*but you have heard some like him - Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell. GODS in regard to virtuosity. Bill Evans stands out on his own but also within the gods realm :)

 

Kenny Kirkland, Monty Alexander, Joey Calderazzo, (many more) being some of my favs as well in modern jazz piano.

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Nothing wrong with demanding they turn off the video cameras, imo.

 

:thu:

 

In the past, "no photos, no video, no audio-recording" was normal during concerts.

 

Today when you play, everyone makes photos or records the show, video/audio and later you find it @youtube etc..

Totally unacceptable !

 

A.C.

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I saw The Standards Trio I Lewiston, NY back I the late 80's or early 90's. At one point during the show Jarrett came across an out of tune note on the piano. He abruptly stopped the music and hammered on the offending key. The piano tuner was summoned from backstage to make adjustments. After a short delay the tuner was dismissed but Jarrett had him leave his tuning hammer behind. During the show Jarrett did tweak the note himself. Outside of that, Jarrett was on his best behavior and it was an amazing show.

 

 

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Some "geniuses or prodigies" are certainly known for their quirks and he is one of them. His outbursts for total silence are well documented. Coughs, camera clicks and flashes all seem to tick him off.

 

His last trio show at Umbria was weird too, he complained about stuff and then only had the spotlight on the bassist. You couldn't see him or the drummer.

 

This is the youtube video:

 

I saw his trio late last year. No outbursts and a record 5 or 6 encores. Got my money's worth and in my opinion he's one of the best jazz/improvising musicians, dead or alive.

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Nothing wrong with demanding they turn off the video cameras, imo.

 

:thu:

 

In the past, "no photos, no video, no audio-recording" was normal during concerts.

 

Today when you play, everyone makes photos or records the show, video/audio and later you find it @youtube etc..

Totally unacceptable !

 

A.C.

While I might agree with this, it was the dickish way he did it at Umbria. It seemed to take the organizers by surprise as well. Perhaps if he asked them to take care of it, and the audience continued to do it, the outburst would have been more justified.

 

It seems like over the past few years, he has toned it down a bit. Perhaps this is due to his latest relationship, his illness, or both. Either way, it's probably better for him, and definitely for his audiences.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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While I might agree with this, it was the dickish way he did it at Umbria. It seemed to take the organizers by surprise as well. Perhaps if he asked them to take care of it, and the audience continued to do it, the outburst would have been more justified.

 

It seems like over the past few years, he has toned it down a bit. Perhaps this is due to his latest relationship, his illness, or both. Either way, it's probably better for him, and definitely for his audiences.

 

Well, when I see this vid, at a first glance, I also agree with your standpoint,- but we don´t have enough background info about that event and contracts etc. to know what made Jarett so upset he started insulting the audience.

Assuming you´re familiar w/ the pro concert touring scene like me, you might know it´s far away from being a paradise for artists and/or backing musicians as well.

There´s more or less always trouble in background.

Local concert promoters, managers, artists and bands have very different demands.

I´ve really seen more annoying scenarios,- p.ex. Elton John insulting the audience, the tech crew and the concert promoters in the public on stage of a "Rock over Germany" open air event just only because his fu##in´ teleprompter, mounted into the grand piano, failed and he couldn´t read his lyrics etc. anymore.

Frank Zappa leaved the stage w/ the band in the middle of a concert here just only because ONE person in the audience shouted "s##t" while FZ performed his guitar solo. Well ...the rest of the audience was about to lynch that guy then, but he survived and became one of the most famous music producers here,- :laugh: .

 

So, there are much more eccentric guys out there than Jarret, who for sure is a very sensitive human being.

Now assuming one of his contract conditions was "no cameras,- photo or video,- during show",... it´s up to the local promoter to accomplish that.

 

And don´t forget,- selling rights on own picture and the performance (audio) was a source of income for every artist performing live in the past.

I myself made a lot of extra money when artists I worked with decided for live recordings and film, releasing a DVD or doing radio/TV w/ that material then.

 

In pro music world it´s not o.k. almost everything is now for free.

Until Y2K or some years longer, photo & video cameras as well as any recording equipment was forbidden in every concert I visited or performed myself.

The security controlled at the entrance.

What to expect from artists coming from these times and had their career peak in the 70s/80s ?

 

A.C.

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Several years ago I met a former piano tech. for Jarrett through a friend of mine.

 

He idolized Keith Jarrett going into the job. After approximately two years with Jarrett, his opinion was completely shattered. While a otherworldly player, the former tech said that Jarrett treated people horribly and was essentially socially retarded.

 

I've kept this account in the back of my mind when I come across these stories. Would love to hear other anecdotes and/or perspectives.

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Several years ago I met a former piano tech. for Jarrett through a friend of mine.

 

He idolized Keith Jarrett going into the job. After approximately two years with Jarrett, his opinion was completely shattered. While a otherworldly player, the former tech said that Jarrett treated people horribly and was essentially socially retarded.

 

 

hey Dugg64, sounds like that piano tech saw the true KJ. He doesn't seem to realize it's the audience who pays for the privilege to listen to him, not the other way around.

 

And KJ had a divorce not too long ago. I guess his wife had enough of his antics.

 

I do notice people who are labelled as "gifted" or "prodigies" can be socially inept, as they rely on their skills/talents to use people rather than develop actual relationships.

 

Do you have any specific stories about Jarrett that the tech shared with you, that you can say on a forum?

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Last night on YouTube I watched KJ on video "Standards II." I also have seen him live before. I must say, I had a hard time watching him perform. It must be great to be that short that you can stand up and still be at right height to play. Also, his vocalizations were quite loud on video. Still great and important to check him out, although there are other players I listen to more often.

AvantGrand N2 | ES520 | Gallien-Krueger MK & MP | https://soundcloud.com/pete36251

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The man can play and he's one of us - we need some piano players with profile - even if it's for the grunting.

 

I wouldn't want him as a room mate but I still want to give the man some respect - he was gigging the Village Vanguard before I was born. I'm not even a Ronnie Scott's reject.

 

Anyone on here heard or aware of Stan Tracey? Just while we're discussing really great jazzers. He brought his octet (I think it was his octet) to play the Belfast Festival about twenty years ago. Really great player.

 

 

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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  • 3 weeks later...
So, Mark, did he behave himself?

Yes, very much in spite of 2 incidents that could have set him off:

- I was sitting in the 2nd row center dress circle. Two people next to me were passing small binoculars back and forth. Someone dropped it on the floor in the middle of a piece. I jumped in my seat.

- After the 3rd encore, some jackass took a flash cellphone photo. Jarrett said something like "you just had to have a picture..." in their direction and the audience applauded. He left the stage and came back for a 4th encore.

 

Jarrett spent a little more time than I expected talking between pieces. He talked about NYC having a great sense of community among musicians. In the late '60s, an entire orchestra of musicians and a studio volunteered time so he could record compositions to submit for a Guggenheim fellowship.

 

Last week's Carnegie Hall concert was recorded and I hope they release it. Only 2 pieces weren't spontaneously composed, "Fever" as the 1st encore and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as the 4th and final encore. Excluding a 20 min intermission, the concert ran 2 hrs.

 

Anyone on here heard or aware of Stan Tracey? Just while we're discussing really great jazzers. He brought his octet (I think it was his octet) to play the Belfast Festival about twenty years ago. Really great player.

Didn't he pass away recently? He has played our jazz festival which has a series devoted to jazz musicians from the UK.

 

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