Category Archives: Books

“Keith Jarrett: A portrait” by Roberto Masotti

Yet another book release I missed. I thought it was only available as a limited edition, but it has actually been available as a regular edition since February 5, 2021. Thanks to Allen for letting me know.

“Keith Jarrett: A portrait” by Roberto Masotti

The book is available from ECM, among other places.

In this series of photographs that I observe with a retrospective gaze, I play with the concept of presence, that one of the body and the one of the instrument, which appear and disappear in the image. The photos are the result of my intimate and objective attention to an artist who I have followed and admired for a long time, but these pictures represent also his response that is conscious acceptance, and above all, participation. His sound, the only one, is made of peculiar music that this series of photographs aims to evoke and make resound.” -Roberto Masotti

English translation of “Keith Jarrett: A Biography” available

Chris Jarrett’s translation of Wolfgang Sandner’s book has been published in November 2020 by Equinox Publishing.

Keith Jarrett: A biography
Keith Jarrett: A biography

Few writers have come as close to Keith Jarrett as Wolfgang Sandner, who has not only closely followed Jarrett’s remarkable career from the 1960s, but has also had the opportunity to visit him in his home in the United States. For this biography, which is full of detailed musical analysis and cross-references to other artistic genres, Sandner has collected new information about Jarrett’s family background, much of which is thanks to the translator, Keith Jarrett’s youngest brother Chris. The book explores Jarrett’s work with other musicians, in particular the members of his American and European Quartets and his Standards Trio, it charts the development of his solo concerts, and it also investigates his work in the classical sphere, as well as the highly original music he has created in his own home studio. It also covers his associations with his various record labels and producers, notably his unparalleled relationship with ECM and its founder Manfred Eicher. This English edition is a significantly extended and updated version of the German original.

Thanks to Chris Jarrett for letting me know. I somehow totally missed it!

“The Melody At Night, With You” official transcriptions available from Schott Music

Friedrich Grossnick’s transcriptions of The Melody At Night, With You are now available from Schott Music. The transcriptions are authorized by Keith Jarrett, just like the Köln Concert transcription, which was released in 1991.

"The Melody At Night, With You" (Schott)
“The Melody At Night, With You” (Schott)

Tender is the night on what is, perhaps, Keith Jarrett’s most intimate album. It is comprised of solo piano renderings of jazz ballads and folk songs, played with unmistakable affection. Jarrett dispenses with the jazz soloist’s conventional emphasis on dexterity, the ‘clever’ phrase, the virtuosic sleight-of-hand. Instead he strips these songs to their melodic essence and, gently, lays bare their emotional core.
This transcription, which has Keith Jarrett’s personal approval, was worked out at the keyboard and aims, above all, for maximum playability within the greatest tonal range. Friedrich Grossnick, as an experienced pedagogue, has produced an outstanding score with particular sensitivity to Jarrett’s interpretation thus enabling its faithful recreation on the piano.  

Keith Jarrett’s 70th birthday: bits and pieces

I’ve received several emails about various events related to Keith Jarrett’s 70th birthday. I’ll just share them here as a single post.

The May issue of Jazz Magazine (France) is largely devoted to Keith Jarrett:

“A l’occasion de son soixante-dixième anniversaire et de ses cinquante ans de carrière, et au moment où sort son nouvel album solo, “Creation”, Keith Jarrett, l’un des plus grands pianistes de l’histoire du jazz a accordé à Jazz Magazine un entretien exclusif de près de deux heures. La difficulté de se renouveler, son rapport à la scène et au public, ses relations avec ses musiciens, ses projets, ses espoirs, ses angoisses… : Keith Jarrett dit tout et ne cache rien.

Complément idéal de cette rencontre, un entretien passionnant avec son producteur de toujours, Manfred Eicher, le patron du mythique label ECM Records.

Sans oublier trente pages de dossier pour tout savoir sur les grands classiques et les trésors oubliés du pianiste, ses collaborations historiques (Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Art Blakey…), l’histoire de Keith Jarrett – The Köln Concert etc.

Exceptionnellement, pour cette occasion, l’intégralité de la diffusion de Jazz Magazine accueillera un CD exceptionnel avec deux titres rares enregistrés à la Salle Pleyel.

A noter que Jazz Magazine sera également présent le dimanche 3 mai à partir de 21 h sur France Inter dans l’émission d’Elsa Boublil, Summertime – France Inter, qui consacrera une spéciale d’une heure à Keith Jarrett.”

Jazz Magazine (issue #672)

Jazz Magazine (issue #672)

A new book by Italian photographer Roberto Masotti, “Keith Jarrett, un ritratto”, will be published by Arcana Jazz on May 6, 2015, covering the period from 1969 to 2011.

"Keith Jarrett, un ritratto"

“Keith Jarrett, un ritratto”

Some of the photographs can be previewed on

SWR2 (Germany) will air a 4-hour program devoted to Keith Jarrett on May 9, 2015 at 10 PM.

“Mit seinen ebenso hymnischen wie groovenden Melodien hat er Generationen von Pianisten in seinen Bann gezogen. Nur wenige vermögen den Flügel so “singen” zu lassen wie Keith Jarrett. Fast im Alleingang hat er Anfang der 1970er-Jahre mit seinen Improvisations-Solokonzerten eine ganze Gattung durchgesetzt. Dabei steht Jarrett idealtypisch für den “universalen” Spontan-Erfinder. Elemente aus Klassik, Jazz, Weltmusik, Gospel, Free und Rock verflechten sich in seinen Linien zu vielfältigen und differenzierten neuen Formen.

“The Köln Concert”, Keith Jarretts Soloalbum aus dem Jahre 1975, hat weit über den Kreis der Spezialisten hinaus ein Millionenpublikum begeistert. Was den Pianisten nicht daran hinderte sich über diese Platte geringschätzig zu äußern. Sie gehöre zum Schlechtesten, was er je eingespielt habe. Man möge sämtliche Editionen dieses Albums bitte einstampfen. Diesem Wunsch hat der Plattenproduzent Manfred Eicher nicht entsprochen: Das “Köln Concert” ist mit 3,5 Millionen verkauften Exemplaren die bis heute erfolgreichste Klavier-Soloplatte.

Anlässlich Jarretts 70. Geburtstags bringen wir in der 4-stündige Sendung einen Panoramablick über Jarretts faszinierendes Œuvre: von seinen epochalen Solo-Konzerten und gefeierten Klassik-Einspielungen über seine Trioarbeit, mit der er im Genre der Piano-Trios neue Wegmarken setzte, bis hin zu seinen legendären Quartett-Aufnahmen mit Jan Garbarek und Dewey Redman. Dabei gehörte Bescheidenheit noch nie zu den besonderen Qualitäten von Keith Jarrett. Er sagt: “Von allen Jazzern kann ich Melodie am besten.””

Giuseppe Maggiolo Novella, an Italian pianist, will play a tribute concert at the Siotto Palace in Cagliari on May 10, 2015 at 7:30 PM. Here’s the program:

Giuseppe Maggiolo Novella, piano solo

  • Jarrett, Radiance – part 8 (2002 Tokyo) 5′
  • Gershwin, Summertime (1976 Tokyo) 5′
  • Jarrett, Sun bear concert Osaka – part I (1976 Osaka) 8′
  • Freeman, The Wind (1987 Tokyo) 10′
  • Jarrett, Blues (1988 Paris) 5′
  • Arlen/Harburg, Over the rainbow (1991 London) 7′
  • Jarrett, Koln concert – part I (1975 Colonia) 26′
  • Jarrett, Tokyo Encore (1976 Tokyo) 8′

If you know of any other events, feel free to mention them in the comments.

Update (May 6, 2015). On Friday, May 8, Open Jazz, a radio show on France Musique, presented by Alex Duthil, will be devoted to Keith Jarrett (“Keith Jarrett : 70 ans de solitude”). Thanks to Michel for the information.

New biography in German to be published on November 28, 2014

A new biography of Keith Jarrett in German, written by Wolfgang Sandner and simply entitled “Keith Jarrett: Eine Biographie”, will be published on November 28, 2014. An ebook version will also be available.

Wolfgang Sandner has also published a biography of Miles Davis in 2010, which wasn’t translated into any other language, so it’s very likely that the new biography will only be available in German.

Thanks to Arnulf and Matthias for the information.

Update (December 1, 2014). The publishing date is now March 6, 2015.