Sunday, January 09, 2011

Nice having an extended opportunity to play through a bunch of vinyl this weekend, but I don't feel the major urge to write about it a lot (hey! I heard that sigh of relief!). Suffice it to say that Jarman's "Song For" holds up wonderfully, as do portions of "Black Paladins" but only a tiny bit of "Earth Passage-Density".

Which brings me to the Keith Jarrett portion of my collection, somewhat down from its most voluminous point (the ECM solo sets have long since been jettisoned). But, at the moment, I have "Expectations" on the turntable and it's sounding pretty good. I think this was the second jazz album I ever purchased, in the spring of '72, entirely due to the presence of Redman and Haden in the band, having just encountered their work with Ornette on "Science Fiction". "Common Mama" is such a great tune, though, my favorite thing ever by Jarrett, such a beautiful melodic line, wonderfully paced, unusually structured.

We'll see how far I can get through his stuff. The only solo improv thing I retained was "Facing You" which, I'm pretty sure, holds up well as does the duo with Jack DeJohnette, "Ruta & Daitya". And I imagine that series of mid-70s quartet releases on Impulse! still have some power. Just checked and the last two albums I have are the strange Gurdjieff solo one and "Changes", with Peacock and DeJohnette from '83, the latter doubtless a gift.

But credit where credit is due, he was a prime source for my early jazz immersion. Saw him once, at Harvard, in 1974-75, on a bill that opened with the Gary Burton Quartet (another album I got rid of, his first under his own name on ECM). Jarrett was solo and, true to form, was pretty much an asshole. Had issues with the tuning, took stage after letting the audience sit for an hour or so, said not a word by way of apology, stopped playing when people coughed, etc. I think in recent years, my favorite encounters with him have been in Miles' band, wrenching ungodly sounds from his Fender Rhodes back around '71.

(Listening to Haden on 'Nomads' right now--such a deep, rich sound.)


Unknown said...

Ruta & Daitya is one of my favorite of Jarrett's. A unlikely mix of funky electric piano, pastoral, classically-influenced passages and Zamfir's pan flute, but it all works.

You need to give props to Jarrett's European Quartet from the 70's as well, particularly Belonging. I've never caught on to The Standards Trio, what am I missing?

Brian Olewnick said...

Yeah, the European Quartet I liked at the time but eventually found too "clean", much the same reaction I had to Garbarek's own music. Not quite the quartet, but the last similar thing that remained in my collection was "Dansere.

I was actually a vid on You Tube w/ Garbarek, Danielleson and Christenson and felt the same.

Some well-intentioned friend gave me a CD of the Standards trio ten or more years back, one at some inn in PA (?) --extremely boring...