It is almost always revealing -- if sometimes messy -- to hear artists of great stature messing about in their home studios, making music they never intended anyone else to hear. Keith Jarrett's No End is such an effort: a two-disc archival home recording from 1986 on which he performs all the instrumental parts. It was cut only a year after the wide-ranging, multi-instrument, acoustic exercise Spirits with its notional nod toward global music.
Recorded in 1986 but released for the first time, this double CD presents Jarrett the multi-instrumentalist. On it, he plays not only piano but various guitars (including bass), tabla, recorder, drums and assorted percussion. Oddly enough, the effect is nothing like as varied and surprising as his great solo piano performances, such as the Köln Concert.
I love the music of Keith Jarrett. He has been a distinctive titan of jazz piano since the late 1960s, forging a style and a philosophy that has lifted the music higher in several ways. From his protean sideman work with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis to his iconoclastic and fully improvised solo piano recitals, from his two daring quartets in the 1970s and ‘80s to his classical experimentations—and most recently in his determined and breathtaking playing with his trio—Jarrett is a master, a great musician, and a hero in the music.