Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Keith Jarrett: Radiance

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

In the liner notes for his first solo album in eight years, pianist Keith Jarrett admits that many of his listeners “will be momentarily (at least) shocked at the initial absence of melodic-or even motivic-content,” as Radiance is two discs’ worth of free improvisation, performed in 2002 at concerts in Osaka and Tokyo. But it’s not hard to discern at least a direction for any given moment: a field of impressionist ripples, a steely march turned into a demonic dance, a rollercoaster of scales with a slight bop tinge, reticent but poignant balladry with harmonies so apt they couldn’t have been improved by forethought. Motivic content arises in the course of exploration, as Jarrett latches onto three-note cells or rhythmic snaps during the longer pieces to propel him on journeys from one section into an unknown that coalesces into something new, measured and gripping at once.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.