Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ Warkworth War Memorial Hall. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Paul Edis @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 28: Ant Law, Alex Hitchcock, Jasper Høiby & Sun-Mi Hong @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm. £15.40., £13.20.

Sat 29: Spat’s Langham’s Hot Fingers @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 29: Vermont Big Band @ Seahorse Pub, Whitley Bay Football Club. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet).
Sat 29: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

CD Review: Keith Jarrett – Munich 2016

Keith Jarrett   (Piano)
(Review by Chris K)

Amid the slew of releases marking the ECM label's 50th birthday, a Keith Jarrett solo concert, recorded in the label's Munich home. The piano god goes back a long way with ECM, with the solo Facing You (1971) recorded in the studio, followed by multiple incarnations in trio and quartet form as well as his trademark completely improvised solo slots on piano and organ.  It was his solo Köln Concert (1975) which opened the door to jazz for a generation of new listeners and established ECM financially, as it became the all-time best-selling solo jazz album (and all-time best-selling piano album) with over 3.5 million copies.

Jarrett is a divisive figure, famously ranting at audiences for coughing during his creative moments, while often indulging himself with (distracting and ludicrous) vocal accompaniments ranging from grunting to tuneless singing.  His perceived high-handedness has inspired stories such as the jazzer who gets to heaven and hears some beautiful music. He asks St. Peter who's playing:  "Oh, that's God. He thinks he's Keith Jarrett".

Regardless of the man, his musical legacy over 50 years is remarkable and he has arguably re-defined the genre. He has audibly influenced many generations of players (anyone amongst our north-east canon care to comment?).  An excellent perspective, with detailed analysis, was published by Peter Elsdon: 'Style and the Improvised in Keith Jarrett's Solo Concerts', in Jazz Perspectives (2008). 

I first encountered him on Miles' 70s Live Evil followed by the Köln Concert, but I have later come to love the wonderful "European Quartet"  ECM recordings (especially My Song), with Garbarek, Danielsson and Christensen, and his many remarkable Standards Trio albums (with Peacock and DeJohnette).

Enough of the past, how does the latest concert compare with a long list, and more particularly, the landmark Köln Concert?   His creative process has changed from long, freeform and more or less continuous songs, into "medleys" of shorter, well defined pieces. I for one find this to be a more digestible format, and maybe easier for him to present musical ideas more coherently. In this style, the Munich Concert has two CDs of 12 improvised tracks (I-XII) averaging 6 minutes in length. The opener is the longest at some 14 minutes, but some are short and sweet - done and dusted in three or four minutes.

This is, unsurprisingly, a more mature and nuanced Jarrett. That's not to say his early work was not musically mature: his 70s albums were densely written, complex in places and of course, with massive technical accomplishment.   But the Jarrett of this century sounds more relaxed. The frantic, helter skelter, sometimes showy pyrotechnics of his 70s work has given way to deeper and more considered moods.  This is good news for those who decried the schmaltzy and excessive passages of the Köln Concert, but I can't help feeling it was that very exuberance that gave birth to the wholesome melodic and rhythmic inventions which characterised that album.

This offering does have gorgeous passages, from his characteristic tuneful ballads through to up tempo blues romps. Track III builds to a bluesy feast, with trademark smears of crunchy chords. Track IV with a rolling left hand blues is followed by limpid Debussy-like impressionism, (with hints of Rachmaninov 2?!). The melodic blues and ballads are punctuated by more dissonant constructions and harmonic block chordal work outs.

While the improvised recital is well crafted with contrasting sections, there is palpable relief when the intensity subsides to three closing standards - the normal routine for Jarrett's solo outings. Answer Me My Love and It’s a Lonesome Old Town are given gorgeous and reverent treatments, and the Somewhere Over the Rainbow encore does indeed sound divine.

Altogether, this is a worthy offering to the altar of ECM on its landmark 50th anniversary, but not a landmark in itself. I'd wholeheartedly recommend a listen for those who know the Köln Concert, but don't expect the raw exuberance of the 70s - instead find the complex and pensive mood reflective of our times.
Chris Kilsby

No comments :

Blog Archive