Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert

Album review
Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert

Keith Jarrett

The Köln Concert

Label: ECM
Media: LP
Genre: Jazz
Ratings:
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To commemorate the 40th anniversary of this landmark recording (the best-selling solo album in jazz history), ECM has released the double vinyl set in a 180-gram audiophile pressing. The sound is a revelation. Every note and nuance of Jarrett’s amazing dynamic touch on the Bosendorfer baby grand fills the Köln Opera House with radiance. Four decades later, one still gets an emotional/nostalgic charge from the rhapsodic right-hand runs, the dramatic intervallic stabs and driving resolution of “Part I,” the rolling, gospel-tinged flurries of “Part IIa,” the somber introspection and mesmerizing folkloric vibe of “Part IIb,” and the bittersweet, hymn-like “Part IIc” (by far the shortest and most memorable of the four sides). For those of us who came up in the late 60s/early 70s, this music is imprinted on our memory banks as deeply as Sgt. Pepper’s or Bitches Brew. We’ve memorized every passage, odd yelp, passionate moan, or foot stomp by the theatrical enfant terrible. A time machine trip for some, this 40-year-old document may also hook a new generation. From rare delicacy to cathartic tension and release to giddy exuberance, The Köln Concert is still a feast for the ears.

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Contributors:
  • primary artist, Keith Jarrett

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