New solo album, La Fenice, to be released on October 19, 2018

ECM Records will release a new solo album, La Fenice, on October 19, 2018.

"La Fenice" cover

“La Fenice” cover

Here’s the complete press release:

“This double album, long anticipated, presents Keith Jarrett’s concert at the Gran Teatro La
Fenice in Venice, from July 2006. The setting – one of Italy’s most famous classical venues –
may evoke some parallels with La Scala, the pianist’s much-loved 1995 recording, but each
of Jarrett’s solo performances is its own world, his protean creativity continually bringing
new forms to light. La Fenice (the phoenix) finds him channelling the flow of inspiration into
a suite of eight spontaneously created pieces referencing everything from the blues to
atonality. From the first flurry of notes, it is a consistently captivating journey. Between Part
VI and Part VII, Jarrett surprisingly but very touchingly segues into “The Sun Whose Rays”,
from Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera The Mikado.

Encores are the traditional tune “My Wild Irish Rose” (previously recorded by Jarrett on The
Melody At Night With You), the timeless standard “Stella By Starlight”, which the trio with
Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette often played (see for instance the albums Standards Live
and Yesterdays). The concert ends with a tender version of Keith’s tune “Blossom”, first
heard on the Belonging album with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen back
in 1974.

La Fenice could be considered the culmination point of a series of solo concerts that began
the previous September with the The Carnegie Hall Concert. Reviewing that performance,
Fred Kaplan of The Absolute Sound wrote: “His concert pieces, all pure improvisations, are
models of economy, themes stated, explored, varied on, departed from, returned to, done –
and gripping from start to finish. The encores were similarly taut – and lyrical and gorgeous.”

Release of the Venice concert is timely. The 62nd International Festival of Contemporary
Music of the Biennale di Venezia has honoured Keith Jarrett with its Golden Lion for
Lifetime Achievement. It’s the first time that a “jazz” musician has received this award,
which has previously been given to contemporary composers including, in recent decades,
Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Sofia Gubaidulina and
Steve Reich. Of course, there is more than one way to be a contemporary composer, as Keith
Jarrett eloquently illustrates on La Fenice, shaping his musical structures in real time.”

The tracklist is as follows:

CD 1

  1. Part I (17:44)
  2. Part II (3:26)
  3. Part III (9:47)
  4. Part IV (7:15)
  5. Part V (6:36)

CD 2

  1. Part VI (13:32)
  2. The Sun Whose Rays (4:22)
  3. Part VII (5:30)
  4. Part VIII (7:15)
  5. My Wild Irish Rose (7:03)
  6. Stella By Starlight (6:33)
  7. Blossom (8:35)

Thanks to Ziad, Stephen, Jan, Heino, Matthias, and Christoph for sending me information about this release.

Update (September 22, 2018). “The Sun Whose Rays” is already available from streaming platforms such as Deezer or Spotify. Thanks to Gabriele for the link!

Solo performance in Venice on September 29, 2018 cancelled

According to La Biennale di Venezia:

“Due to recent health issues Keith Jarrett has cancelled all of his engagements for 2018.

29 September, Biennale Musica: there was enormous anticipation for the solo piano performance by Keith Jarrett, culminating in the awards ceremony for the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, but recent health issues required Keith Jarrett to cancel all of his engagements for 2018, starting with the concert at Carnegie Hall in New York scheduled on March 21st and including his announced solo performance in Venice on September 29th. This timeframe affecting the Maestro’s schedule for the year has imposed a change to our programme.”

La Repubblica (article in Italian) is also reporting on the cancellation.

Thanks to Jan and Vasco for the links.

I don’t have any additional information at the moment. Let’s hope that Keith will get better soon.

Solo concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on March 21, 2018 cancelled

The following email has been sent to ticket buyers:

We are writing to let you know that Keith Jarrett has regrettably cancelled his performance in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Wednesday, March 21 due to health issues. This concert will not be rescheduled.

Ticket holders who made their purchase through carnegiehall.org or CarnegieCharge, or who purchased at the Box Office by any means other than cash, will receive automatic refunds. Those who made their purchase with cash should return their tickets in person to the Box Office at 57th and Seventh to receive a refund. If you have any further questions, please call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.”

Thanks to Sean for letting me know about this.

Keith Jarrett gets career Golden Lion

Thanks to Sean and Vasco for sending me a link to this article: “Keith Jarrett gets career Golden Lion”.

“US jazz pianist Keith Jarrett has been given the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for career achievement. The American pianist and composer will receive the award at the 62nd Biennale Festival of Contemporary Music on September 29.

[…]

For this occasion, Keith Jarrett will perform one of his legendary improvisations on the piano, unique and unrepeatable events that have punctuated his career and contributed to redefining composition for the piano.”

It’s not completely clear from the article whether Keith will play a full-length concert or whether he will only play at the award ceremony.