Release Date: Nov 8, 2011
Record label: ECM
Genre(s): Jazz, Avant-Garde, Piano Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Free Improvisation, Improvisation
It takes a while to get over the shock of seeing an ECM Records sleeve as a riot of blazing yellows and reds rather than the usual mysterious monochrome. Then you listen to this solo-piano double album, recorded live only six months ago in Rio, and the outburst makes sense. The story goes that Jarrett was on the phone to ECM boss Manfred Eicher barely before the applause had died down, convinced this was his best gig in years – and he's right.
Rio, the double-disc solo concert recording by Keith Jarrett, marks his 40th anniversary as an ECM recording artist; coincidentally, Facing You, his debut for the label, was a solo piano recording, though cut in a studio. Many of Jarrett's improvised solo concerts have represented benchmarks in his career: The Köln Concert, The Sun Bear Solo Concerts, and La Scala among them. His musical and philosophical approach toward recording this way has evolved and been refined over the decades, but nowhere more so than on Rio, a complete document of his show at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro in April of 2011.
Pianist Keith Jarrett is the most brilliant and essential jazz musician of the last 40 years. Okay, that a crazy-bold statement. Jarrett is not the “best” maybe, and certainly not the easiest to enjoy or to fit into a category. But in many ways he encompasses most essentially the turbulent and wonderful history of the music since Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman passed their prime.
Features performances which recall his career-defining early trio recordings. Alyn Shipton 2011 Since he recorded the Köln Concert in 1975, Keith Jarrett’s solo recitals have come a long way. Back then, a single piece often lasted over 25 minutes, and the audience had to follow every twist and turn of Jarrett’s spur-of-the-moment improvising without coming up for air.