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!