Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Keith Jarrett - 1975 - The Köln Concert

Label: ECM Records
Catalog#: ECM 1064/65 ST
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP

Country: Germany
Released: 1975
Genre: Jazz
Style: Post Bop
Credits: Artwork By [Cover Design] - B&B Wojirsch
Composed By, Piano - Keith Jarrett
Engineer - Martin Wieland
Photography - Wolfgang Frankenstein
Producer - Manfred Eicher
Notes: Recorded live at the opera in Köln, Germany January 24, 1975

"The Köln Concert is a recording released through ECM by the renowned jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, who performed solo improvisations at the Cologne Opera House at Köln/Cologne in 1975. The concert is in three parts, the first lasting 26 minutes and the second 34 minutes. As the concert was originally published on LP, the second part was split into parts labeled "IIa" and "IIb". Part IIc actually is a 3rd part, the encore. The Köln Concert is considered by many to be a classic jazz record: "a benign masterpiece, flowing with human warmth" [1].

Quite a notable part of the sublimity of this concert is Jarrett's ability to produce seemingly limitless improvised material over a vamp of one or two chords for prolonged periods of time. For instance, in Part I, he spends almost 12 minutes vamping over the chords Am7 (A minor 7) to G major, sometimes in a slow, rubato feel, and other times in a bluesy, gospel rock feel. And for about the last 6 minutes of Part I, he vamps over an A major theme. Roughly the first 8 minutes of Part II A is a vamp over a D major groove with a repeated bass vamp in the left hand, and in Part II B, Jarrett improvises over an F# minor vamp for approximately the first 6 minutes.

Since the release of The Köln Concert, Jarrett has been asked by pianists, students, musicologists and others, to publish the music. At first, he resisted such requests since, as he said, the music played was improvised "on a certain night and should go as quickly as it comes." However, this improvisation already existed in recording, and the transcription only represents the music, so he finally came around to publish an authorized edition, but recommended that every pianist who intended to play the concert should use the recording itself as having the final word. A transcription has also been published by Manuel Barrueco for classical guitar." ~ Wikipedia