ECM - 272888 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - Pressed in Germany
(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 - Theabsolutesound
ECM’s re-mastered vinyl of The Köln Concert captures the bravado and concert acoustics with amazing precision and vibrancy. The “less than optimal” sharp tonality of the baby grand is rendered as is, without any studio gimmicky. The listener is drawn into the hypnotic, improvisational flows that characterize Jarrett’s style and artistic vision. The black & white cover photo (Wolfgang Frankenstein) is a simple reflection of the meditative visage of this legendary performer. Each additional listen to this concert brings a new-found appreciation for various nuances and innovation.Keith Jarrett – The Köln Concert should be part of any music aficionado’s collection, especially this vinyl reissue! Sound 5/5 Audiophileaudition
Over the past 40 years, Keith Jarrett has come to be recognized as one of the most creative musicians of our times - universally acclaimed as an improviser of unsurpassed genius; a master of jazz piano; a classical keyboardist of great depth; and as a composer who has written hundreds of pieces for his various jazz groups, plus extended works for orchestra, & soloist
Solo performer: Keith Jarrett (piano) Recorded live in Koln, Germany on January 24, 1975.
Albums that sell vast quantities are not always to be recommended. This exceptional example of solo piano is the biggest selling record in the 25 year history of the pioneering jazz label ECM.
It is an almost perfect recording of the art of piano dynamics, full of emotion, and throughout the hour or so duration the listener is never bored. Jarrett has repeated his concerts of improvisation hundreds of times, many have been recorded, and presumably, many routes of his spontaneity have led to blind alleys of jazz doodling.
This is the best recorded example of the art, unlikely to be bettered.
Recorded in 1975 at the Köln Opera House and released the same year, this disc has, along with its revelatory music, some attendant cultural baggage that is unfair in one sense: Every pot-smoking and dazed and confused college kid -- and a few of the more sophisticated ones in high school -- owned this as one of the truly classic jazz records, along with Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue, Take Five, A Love Supreme, and something by Grover Washington, Jr. Such is cultural miscegenation. It also gets unfairly blamed for creating George Winston, but that's another story.
What Keith Jarrett had begun a year before on the Solo Concerts album and brought to such gorgeous flowering here was nothing short of a miracle. With all the tedium surrounding jazz-rock fusion, the complete absence on these shores of neo-trad anything, and the hopelessly angry gyrations of the avant-garde, Jarrett brought quiet and lyricism to revolutionary improvisation. Nothing on this program -- so ideally suited to CD -- was considered before he sat down to play. All of the gestures, intricate droning harmonies, skittering and shimmering melodic lines, and whoops and sighs from the man are spontaneous. Although it was one continuous concert, the piece is divided into four sections, largely because it had to be divided for double LP.
But from the moment Jarrett blushes his opening chords and begins meditating on harmonic invention, melodic figure construction, glissando combinations, and occasional ostinato phrasing, music changed. For some listeners it changed forever in that moment. For others it was a momentary flush of excitement, but it was change, something so sorely needed and begged for by the record-buying public. Jarrett's intimate meditation on the inner workings of not only his pianism, but also the instrument itself and the nature of sound and how it stacks up against silence, involved listeners in its search for beauty, truth, and meaning.
The concert swings with liberation from cynicism or the need to prove anything to anyone ever again. With this album, Jarrett put himself in his own league, and you can feel the inspiration coming off him in waves. This may have been the album every stoner wanted in his collection "because the chicks dug it." Yet it speaks volumes about a musician and a music that opened up the world of jazz to so many who had been excluded, and offered the possibility -- if only briefly -- of a cultural, aesthetic optimism, no matter how brief that interval actually was. This is a true and lasting masterpiece of melodic, spontaneous composition and improvisation that set the standard.
1. Koln, January 24, 1975
2. Koln, January 24, 1975
3. Koln, January 24, 1975
4. Koln, January 24, 1975