Keith Jarrett's numerous volumes of improvised solo piano recordings are all treasure troves of spontaneous music making. Documented since the 1970s, they reveal the opening of his music as it readily embraces classical and sacred music influences, filters out what is unnecessary in his technique, and encounters the depth and breadth of the jazz tradition and his own unique abilities as a composer. The four discs in A Multitude of Angels were recorded in as many Italian cities during the last week of October 1996 – some 20 months after the concert captured on La Scala.
ECM celebrates the occasion of pianist Keith Jarrett's 70th birthday with two simultaneous releases. One is a classical date for its New Series on which he performs piano concertos by Béla Bartók and Samuel Barber with two different orchestras. The other is Creation, a solo piano offering. While Jarrett has made dozens of solo records, this is unlike any in his catalog. Rather than document the unfolding of his in-the-moment ideas through a single performance, this set features nine sections compiled from half-a-dozen performances in four cities and five venues (all notated in the sleeve) during 2014.
The legendary Keith Jarrett Trio, playing live at NDR Funkhaus, Hamburg. The trio with Haden and Motian – formed in 1966 – was Jarrett’s first great band, his choice of players a masterstroke. With the bassist who had learned his craft in Ornette Coleman’s band, and the drummer from Bill Evans’s ground-breaking trio, Jarrett was able to explore the full scope of modern jazz, from poetic balladry to hard-swinging time-playing to ferocious and fiery free music, the improvisation including episodes with Keith on soprano sax. The interaction between the three musicians is uncanny throughout, reaching a peak in an emotion-drenched performance of Charlie Haden’s “Song for Che”. ECM set up the 1972 tour of the Jarrett Trio, including the German radio concert from which this album is drawn. Manfred Eicher returned to the original tapes, remixing the music for this edition in Oslo in July 2014, together with Jan Erik Kongshaug.