This is Keith Jarrett's most accomplished collection of classical compositions yet, seated squarely in the American East Coast neo-classical tradition of Samuel Barber, David Diamond, Irving Fine, etc. Jarrett's writing for strings is masterful here; the lines move and interweave instead of being shoveled on as in some pieces of the '70s, and the compositions have shape and direction. Most of all, they share a common feeling of reflection and an unabashed willingness to let the instrumental soloists sing.
The Brazilian neo-progressive rock band Apocalypse was formed in 1983 and was influenced by such bands as Genesis, Yes, Rush, and Marillion. Chico Casara (vocals/bass), Ruy Fritsch (guitar), Eloy Fritsch (keyboards), and Chico Fasoli (drums) perform generally accessible songs dominated by prominent keyboards and complex rhythms. Their intellectual Portuguese lyrics mark the greatest difference between them and most other neo-prog artists.
With Eyes Of The Heart, musician’s musician Keith Jarrett landed one of his last American Quartet flights. This live performance, recorded just one month after The Survivors’ Suite, is a journey of a rather different stripe. Jarrett whoops with delight as he opens Part One in a delicate congregation of drums. The kalimba-like bass of Charlie Haden hops from one foot to another as Jarrett looses a soprano sax into the prevailing winds. Only later does the expected piano shine through his fingertips.
Thanks in no small part to ECM founder Manfred Eicher's patience and indulgence, here we have another of Keith Jarrett's myriad "special projects" – two CDs of music recorded on a clavichord. This carries Jarrett's anti-electric crusade to a real extreme, the clavichord being a keyboard from J.S. Bach's day, obsolete for over 200 years. The instrument produces a gentle pinging sound like a harpsichord crossed with a zither (the amplified Hohner Clavinet is the closest sound in our time), and Jarrett occasionally tries to stretch the instrument's limited possibilities, hammering percussively on the close-miked strings. Yet for the most part, Jarrett reins in his world-class technique in order to make unpretentiously minimal music on this ancient keyboard. Some of it sounds like folk music, some like new age contemplation, there are convincing neo-baroque musings, and a few of these untitled though numbered selections kick into a higher gear. Sometimes this music is charming…But hey, they also laughed when Keith started putting out massive sets of solo piano…
Through an exploration of his life and work, and close encounters with the man himself, this documentary offers and exceptional opportunity to examine the contrasting worlds of jazz and classical music. Great archival material is interwoven with original and richly detailed filmed interview with Keith, musicians with whom he's collaborated over the years, family members, tour managers, and other close musical and recording associates: Manfred Eicher, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Cloud, Scott Jarrett, George Avakian, Charles Lloyd, Gary Burton, Miles Davis, Toshinari Koinuma, Chick Corea, Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman, Rose Anne Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, John Christensen.
Even before his solo concerts became popular successes, Keith Jarrett was clearly getting a free hand from ECM founder Manfred Eicher, as this ambitious double album of classical compositions proves. In this compendium of eight works for all kinds of ensembles, the then-28-year old Jarrett adamantly refuses to be classified, flitting back and forth through the centuries from the baroque to contemporary dissonance, from exuberant counterpoint for brass quintet to homophonic writing for a string section.