His technique of playing piano and approach to improvised solo piano concerts is legendary and not really approachable by other pianists of his caliber. Not too many pianists would dare to venture that far.
Much has been said about Keith Jarrett single-handedly being responsible for the New Age solo piano movement, much to his dismay. He, above all people, doesn’t want any form of association with New Age. And I don’t blame him. His music is much more substance composition-wise, and goes well beyond New Age to such a sublime level of artistry. His musicianship is unmatched. He is a musician’s musician.
Everything Keith Jarrett has release on vinyl and CD has always been at such a high level of musical mastery and artistic creativity. And at the same time he has put out a phenomenal amount of work. His discography is vast. And I don’t have everything he’s released as of yet (one of my life’s goals).
And thus, Keith Jarrett’s “Testament” has been a long awaited recording and one I highly anticipated.
Was that anticipation worthy?
There will always be a part of me longing for something from Keith Jarrett along the lines of The Koln Concert, but I feel he hit that moment of pure brilliance and there’s no way to duplicate that yet, he has been on this musical odyssey for decades now. He has put out such an incredible amount of recorded material, each just as brilliant in its own right.
Sure, this new set of live recordings are just as brilliant and technically and artistically go beyond what he had done in the 70s.
No one as actually come close to his type of improvisations, that span so many different styles from gospel to jazz to classical to pure americana. After all is said and done he will go down as one of (if not the) most influential pianists of the latter 20th Century.
It’s just always nice whenever he releases a new concert, a new journey to explore. The depth of his music is not readily apparent at times, but is well worth the journey if one decides to explore further…