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#1601163 - 01/19/11 10:21 PM How Does Keith Jarrett Do it?
charliehornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles
i was watching Keith's version of ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE...

one thing I can't get over is noticing ALL THE IDEAS and phrases he seems to cram into an octave. I'm not a teacher and i'm working on my jazz chops, but for those of you more seasoned and experienced, i would love for your to weigh in your observations and thoughts about his playing in this piece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLCGWh-VZhI&feature=related

again, what's striking to me is how many ideas he has stuffed into just an octave or two. it seems that he could solo endlessly in just an octave, constantly coming up with different phrasings and patterns.

Maybe you guys can offer a better perspective than me... i welcome your thoughts...

And more importantly, how do I get this into MY playing?! smile


Edited by charliehornsby (01/19/11 10:23 PM)
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#1601269 - 01/20/11 03:41 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Hi Charlie

...ah yes, the genius that is Keith Jarrett!

I'm not particularly "seasoned" or "experienced" but I can suggest that you read this important book. It's been endorsed by Keith and I believe it will go a long way to answering your question.

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#1601353 - 01/20/11 09:12 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i love Jarrett. I have many transcriptions and one book of his music. I don't play well by ear, so reading sheet music, how he plays and has composed is most helpful for me.

there are these exercises...
Jarrett exercises posted here before .

and this thread with many helpful links. I particularly listen to Jarrett on my ipod while playing his sheet music.. that works pretty well for me.

I wanna play like Jarrett


_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Ă•un (apple in Estonian)

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#1601448 - 01/20/11 12:34 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: charliehornsby
And more importantly, how do I get this into MY playing?! smile

It starts by trusting your intuition. Once you get enough technique under your belt, time to let go and let the music tell you where it wants to go. smile
_________________________
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#1601553 - 01/20/11 03:40 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
charliehornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles
APPLE! great link!!!!!!! thank you!


very cool stuff!
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#1601711 - 01/20/11 07:54 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
looks like the link was removed probably a rule...any chance you can describe how to get there?

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#1602039 - 01/21/11 07:35 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
the link works here in KS.. i tried sending it by PM.
_________________________
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love and peace, Ă•un (apple in Estonian)

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#1602270 - 01/21/11 02:15 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
He's playing very fast in the clip you posted. Improvising is like extemporaneous speaking in a foreign language. Jarrett knows the language very well and can play (speak) a lot at a very fast tempo. Jarrett has been at it for many years and worked really hard when he was young to get really good at an early age. So that's how he does it.

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#1602273 - 01/21/11 02:18 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
For Jarrett, outlining the chord changes with arpeggios and or continuous scale lines is like the A, B, Cs. He really knows how to do it in a fluent musical way... you can have all the inspiration and good intentions in the world but you won't get close to what Jarrett does if you don't know how to outline changes with single note lines. You should become very good at that if you hope to approach his kind of playing.

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#1602362 - 01/21/11 04:37 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: Jazz+]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
apple, oops my mistake; didn't realize that was the link, looking for something with a url or something! Thanks for the effort in sending the pm! mike

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#1604726 - 01/24/11 03:56 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: limavady]
charliehornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles
Jazz Plus. thank you for the insight. this is all great stuff. at least i am starting to understand the mechanics behind it. i mean, i at least know what sounds good. i hear what he's doing as a listener, but techincally, i wasn't sure. i had theories and thoughts, but this gives me insight as to what's going on.

i appreciate the conversation and the dialogue. it's a huge help and i can use this to practice. please feel free to add any other thoughts and insights. they are welcomed smile
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#1604909 - 01/24/11 08:37 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: limavady]
charliehornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles
Jazz Plus. thank you for the insight. this is all great stuff. at least i am starting to understand the mechanics behind it. i mean, i at least know what sounds good. i hear what he's doing as a listener, but techincally, i wasn't sure. i had theories and thoughts, but this gives me insight as to what's going on.

i appreciate the conversation and the dialogue. it's a huge help and i can use this to practice. please feel free to add any other thoughts and insights. they are welcomed smile
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#1604912 - 01/24/11 08:46 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: cruiser]
charliehornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Los Angeles
thanks cruiser! i just ordered that book. great call!
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#1607178 - 01/28/11 01:35 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Transcribe Transcribe Transcribe.

I know plenty of people who actually went as far as to learn an entire album worth of music... they play along with the entire record note-by-note without any music at all... my friend actually did that plus learned the solos in all keys. It will take over an year to be able to do that, but after doing that, you can't help but to have those things come out in your playing.

I did learn Chick Corea's "Matrix" solos in 2 keys...I must have spent close to 4 months on it... it took me a while but some of that stuff is coming out in my playing. At first you are going to feel like the work you put in hasn't translated to any progress, but you start hearing new things, and coming up with your own way to play jarrett-like ideas over some changes.

Also, remember that this is a very slow process, be prepared to spend at least an year working through stuff like this. Some people make it their lifetime study to do stuff like this.

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#1630264 - 02/28/11 09:26 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: eweiss]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Originally Posted By: charliehornsby
And more importantly, how do I get this into MY playing?! smile

It starts by trusting your intuition. Once you get enough technique under your belt, time to let go and let the music tell you where it wants to go. smile



Sounds like what I'm aiming for smile

John

PS: I still immensely enjoy Jarrett's early works (Koln Concert & Bremen/Lausanne), been listening to them for well over 30 years.
_________________________
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Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#1630386 - 03/01/11 01:39 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: eweiss]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Originally Posted By: charliehornsby
And more importantly, how do I get this into MY playing?! smile

Once you get enough technique under your belt, time to let go and let the music tell you where it wants to go. smile


That's A LOT of technique to get under your belt to be able to play the kind of stuff Keith Jarrett does. You're talking about having enough chops to be able to do stuff like Chopin Etudes easily, and having really incredible ears. It took me like 3-4 months to learn a single Chick Corea solo like "Matrix", and well, someone like Keith Jarrett can probably play it by hearing it once.

I don't think the thread is about how to let things come out in your playing, as in improvising.. it's more about how to be able to do it at the level that Keith Jarrett does.. and that's something you might able to attain after 20 years diligent practice.

I remember in Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers", he talks about how most composers spend at least 15 years of training before they can produce something significant. I don't think improvising is any different.

I don't mean to sound too intimidating, but playing like Jarrett really is like asking someone if you can climb mount Everest. The question is, as one of my teacher put it.. are you really ready for that kind of spiritual commitment to put in that hours of practice and perfect your art? Bill Evans, John Coltrane, and most masters we know have put int 5-8hrs daily so that they have enough musical chops to let it come out. Are you ready to do that?


Edited by etcetra (03/01/11 01:43 AM)

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#1630435 - 03/01/11 04:34 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: etcetra
I remember in Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers", he talks about how most composers spend at least 15 years of training before they can produce something significant. I don't think improvising is any different.

It's 10.000 hours or approx 10 years - but who's counting smile
http://www.recipesforlearning.com/science-art-joy-learnin/10-thousand-hours/
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#1630441 - 03/01/11 04:54 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: charliehornsby
And more importantly, how do I get this into MY playing?! smile


Not necessary in this order:
Play a lot of classical; Chopin, Ravel, Bach, Mozart.
Improvise on those tunes.
Play a lot of Jazz; ragtime, be-bop, free.
Even more improvising.
Listen closely to Ahmed Jahmals "white" album, Paul Bley's "Footloose" and "Open to Love".
Play some gospel and mix in some blues.
Learn to play the drums and when you think you're done; learn to play the soprano sax.
Learn Beatles songs - but on the guitar, sing them too in public.
Record your own pop album with you singing and then decide: "never again".
Sit for two months playing cocktail piano in a fancy restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden.
Learn the recorder. Learn the bass recorder.
Record an album playing the recorders and banging some drums.
Go to Germany, sit in a draughty church and pull out all the stops - have some fun playing the organ.
Meet with haughty German dude in Oslo, Norway whilst on tour with a major jazz soloist dude, in whose band you are playing electric keyboards and record in one day a solo piano album.
Yet again go to Germany, sit down with a Clavichord at either hand and record an album in a day.
Do two TV-shows with a couple of Norwegians and a couple of Swedes and then decide: "let's do an album, lets call it Belonging and let's do only first-takes."
Decide to play tunes from the Great American Songbook for 30-odd years and in-between throw in some solo concerts.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#1630456 - 03/01/11 06:13 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: chrisbell]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: charliehornsby
And more importantly, how do I get this into MY playing?! smile


Not necessary in this order:
Play a lot of classical; Chopin, Ravel, Bach, Mozart.
Improvise on those tunes.
Play a lot of Jazz; ragtime, be-bop, free.
Even more improvising.
Listen closely to Ahmed Jahmals "white" album, Paul Bley's "Footloose" and "Open to Love".
Play some gospel and mix in some blues.
Learn to play the drums and when you think you're done; learn to play the soprano sax.
Learn Beatles songs - but on the guitar, sing them too in public.
Record your own pop album with you singing and then decide: "never again".
Sit for two months playing cocktail piano in a fancy restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden.
Learn the recorder. Learn the bass recorder.
Record an album playing the recorders and banging some drums.
Go to Germany, sit in a draughty church and pull out all the stops - have some fun playing the organ.
Meet with haughty German dude in Oslo, Norway whilst on tour with a major jazz soloist dude, in whose band you are playing electric keyboards and record in one day a solo piano album.
Yet again go to Germany, sit down with a Clavichord at either hand and record an album in a day.
Do two TV-shows with a couple of Norwegians and a couple of Swedes and then decide: "let's do an album, lets call it Belonging and let's do only first-takes."
Decide to play tunes from the Great American Songbook for 30-odd years and in-between throw in some solo concerts.


I can play the recorder. That's got to be a start. wink
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I am a competent teacher.


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#1630463 - 03/01/11 06:50 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
My kids LOVE the Koln Concert. THey found my CD on I-Tunes (which they use too) and broadcast it thruout the house with one of their fancy ipod things. It's much nicer to hear than Justin Bieber.

We've heard at least 20 times this month. I couldn't be happier.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Ă•un (apple in Estonian)

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#1630469 - 03/01/11 07:04 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south

Originally Posted By: etcetra


I don't mean to sound too intimidating, but playing like Jarrett really is like asking someone if you can climb mount Everest.


No it's lot like that at all. Lots of people climb everest but there is only one Keith Jarrett.



Originally Posted By: etcetra

I don't think the thread is about how to let things come out in your playing, as in improvising.. it's more about how to be able to do it at the level that Keith Jarrett does.. and that's something you might able to attain after 20 years diligent practice.


Dream on.
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#1630541 - 03/01/11 09:24 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
That's A LOT of technique to get under your belt to be able to play the kind of stuff Keith Jarrett does. You're talking about having enough chops to be able to do stuff like Chopin Etudes easily, and having really incredible ears.

But technique alone will never get you there. What Jarrett does is simple - he stays in the present while he plays. Something I'm sure he learned via improvisation. When you can do this, what communicates is very deep. Which is why so many enjoy this guy's playing. What people hear is that X factor.
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#1630545 - 03/01/11 09:34 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: beeboss]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Beeboss

Maybe I wasn't clear on this. I am not saying you can be the next Keith Jarret per se, but to be able to "get enough technique under your belt, "let go and let the music tell you where it wants to go." , and to be able to let at a very high level like Keith(and incoporate his musical characteristics in your playing) requires years and years of practice. That's the only point I am making.

I know you've seen this, but I had this in mind as I wrote my last post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovqa_WG5z74

There are a lot of great players who can play really well and is strongly influenced/sound like someone. I think that's something one MIGHT be able to do with lots of practicing. But the percentage of people who can get there is still very small (hence the Mt. Everest analogy)

Besides, the point of jazz is not about playing like Keith Jarrett anyways... smile


ewiss

I agree that staying on the present/letting go is important, but then again that alone won't make you a good jazz musician either smile

I think the thread is more about the mechanic of playing like Keithjarrett.. as the OP said he is interested in all the ideas Keith Plays. You are not going to come up with these great musical ideas by playing with your heart. In fact, I'd imagine it will take couple of months to steal one idea from Keith Jarrett, work it in all keys and be able to do it in your playing naturally(which is one way that most people learn to "do it")

I guess my point is that that part of the craft takes years and years to learn, and it's important to see this is a very long term commitment.


Edited by etcetra (03/01/11 10:10 AM)

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#1630572 - 03/01/11 10:15 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> What Jarrett does is simple
Nothing KJ does is simple.
In fact, few can play in so many styles with such ease and perfect technique. KJ lets each and every single note ring with extreme precision, and controls each finger direction and dynamics as to let any voice come out.

That's what people get out of his solo piano. The perfection he has developed. People hear perfection.

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#1630576 - 03/01/11 10:21 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
but back to the OP. It's actually reasonable to think someone could work up an arrangements of ATTYA such as KJ's and perform it.

Listen to Fred Hersh, lots of amazing stuff. His Bossa album is fantastic. Mehldau also.

This is what I would say as far as incorporating in your playing:

Transcribe a few of those spots where you have the multiple voices going. From a variety of artists.
Meanwhile, arrange a few heads in this style also. Your music.
For technique, you can either play those transcriptions, or work your way up Bach's WTC.
There's nothing like actually doing it.

KJ has a few versions of ATTYA, and while there's not all the same, they sound very similar.

Write stuff down... it sticks that way.

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#1630635 - 03/01/11 11:29 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Beeboss

Maybe I wasn't clear on this. I am not saying you can be the next Keith Jarret per se, but to be able to "get enough technique under your belt, "let go and let the music tell you where it wants to go." , and to be able to let at a very high level like Keith(and incoporate his musical characteristics in your playing) requires years and years of practice. That's the only point I am making.

I know you've seen this, but I had this in mind as I wrote my last post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovqa_WG5z74

There are a lot of great players who can play really well and is strongly influenced/sound like someone. I think that's something one MIGHT be able to do with lots of practicing. But the percentage of people who can get there is still very small (hence the Mt. Everest analogy)

Besides, the point of jazz is not about playing like Keith Jarrett anyways... smile



You are right. It takes many many years to be able to able well, if we can ever achieve such a point. I am still hopeful.
It is just as well that playing like Jarrett is not our goal otherwise we may as well give up now.
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#1630638 - 03/01/11 11:32 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: knotty]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: knotty
That's what people get out of his solo piano. The perfection he has developed. People hear perfection.

And what is that 'perfection?' It's an artist expressing feeling. Intuiton and intellect combined and functioning as one. But intuition will ALWAYS contribute more to technique then vice versa. Why? Because when feeling leads, there's no end to the possiblities.
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#1630639 - 03/01/11 11:33 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: knotty]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: knotty


KJ has a few versions of ATTYA, and while there's not all the same, they sound very similar.


Except maybe the into to the version on 'tribute',that is in a class all its own imo

I love Hersh's Jobim album, I can't stop listening to desafinado, awesome.

That Thomas Rueckert track that etc linked to is amazing as well.
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#1630642 - 03/01/11 11:40 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Knotty

I agree. It's simple for him only because he's built enough facility to stay in the present let the music just flow out of him. I am guessing what people really want to know is how/what train yourself so that you can execute all these complex ideas and still stay in the present.

Think of it this way.. if you can learn 1 new Keith Jarrett idea every 2-3 months, you will have a decent amount of vocabulary in 5-10 years smile As far as I know, Most of Keith Jarrett's ideas are very straight-forward bebop idea.

Beeboss

I recently had a gig where I felt like I was leaving my body as I was playing. It was intense experience, but at the same time I've noticed how I wasn't prepared for it and my chops/time other problem kind of took me out of that experience. Ultimately I think it's about being able to stay there as we play, and that's why we want to play like Keith because you hear that emanating from him.


Edited by etcetra (03/01/11 11:59 AM)

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#1630664 - 03/01/11 12:12 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Originally Posted By: knotty
That's what people get out of his solo piano. The perfection he has developed. People hear perfection.

And what is that 'perfection?' It's an artist expressing feeling. Intuition and intellect combined and functioning as one. But intuition will ALWAYS contribute more to technique then vice versa. Why? Because when feeling leads, there's no end to the possiblities.


I hate to sound rude, but I don't really see how all these new-age rhetoric is actually helping anyone become better improviser, specifically to be able to play like Keith.

Few things to consider

Does intuition always contribute ore than technique? You may be inspired but how does that help if you don't have the technique to hit the desired note at the right timing? Isn't that kind of like communicating to someone who doesn't speak your language? You might be able to communicate, but you wil be very inefficient.

How do you know for sure that when feeling leads, there's no end to the possiblities?... doesn't having better technique also open you up to new possibilities, maybe even possibilities that you might not realize when you are leading by feeling alone?


"And what is that 'perfection?' It's an artist expressing feeling. Intuiton and intellect combined and functioning as one."

Again, how does knowing that help anyone get there. I also thing what knotty meant by perfection is different. It has more to do with the idea of being able to do complex tasks accurately&effortlessly. It has just as much to do with technique as intuition.

I disagree with you, mainly because youm see to emphasize intuition over technique. You can't go without the other, and I think it's more beneficial to see them as one thing. Yes performance is about letting go of intuition, but as far as I know most great players spend hours at home improving technique on daily basis... and the time they spend on technique is way more than the time on their feeling/intuiting music


Edited by etcetra (03/01/11 12:13 PM)

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#1630669 - 03/01/11 12:18 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
I hate to sound rude, but I don't really see how all these new-age rhetoric is actually helping anyone become better improviser, specifically to be able to play like Keith.

Because it's true. And if you want to 'play like Keith' you have to be willing to trust yourself and go beyond technique. What do you think he does?

Originally Posted By: etcetra
Does intuition always contribute more than technique? You may be inspired but how does that help if you don't have the technique to hit the desired note at the right timing?

Here's the big secret ... if you don't have the 'technique' to play something - you make it up! Which is why trusting intuition is so important. It will lead you places thinking won't. And again, this is how Jarrett (I assume) does what he does. Sure, he's got the technical chops, but technique alone isn't what communicates - it's what's behind the notes. How's that for 'new age' rhetoric?
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#1630674 - 03/01/11 12:28 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: eweiss]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Originally Posted By: etcetra
I hate to sound rude, but I don't really see how all these new-age rhetoric is actually helping anyone become better improviser, specifically to be able to play like Keith.

Because it's true. And if you want to 'play like Keith' you have to be willing to trust yourself and go beyond technique. What do you think he does?

Originally Posted By: etcetra
Does intuition always contribute more than technique? You may be inspired but how does that help if you don't have the technique to hit the desired note at the right timing?

Here's the big secret ... if you don't have the 'technique' to play something - you make it up! Which is why trusting intuition is so important. It will lead you places thinking won't. And again, this is how Jarrett (I assume) does what he does. Sure, he's got the technical chops, but technique alone isn't what communicates - it's what's behind the notes. How's that for 'new age' rhetoric?


Again, the problem is that you seem to suggest technique as something different than inspiration/trusting yourself, and all these new-age spiritual stuff(which is important too), as something you "need to go beyond".

To me all aspect of music is equally important, and I think it's better to avoid statements that seem to show bias against technique.

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#1630681 - 03/01/11 12:39 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
To me all aspect of music is equally important, and I think it's better to avoid statements that seem to show bias against technique.

Who's biased against technique? Not I. But go ahead ... practice your scales, arpeggios and whatever for years and years. It won't help you achieve the X factor that Jarrett seems to have in spades. Why? Because you have to let it all go and just play. Those who don't or can't do this will always sound 'wooden' for lack of a better word. And having sophisticated 'technique' is a very easy way to hide behind the notes.
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#1630686 - 03/01/11 12:48 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: eweiss]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: eweiss
practice your scales, arpeggios and whatever for years and years. It won't help you achieve the X factor that Jarrett seems to have in spades. Why? Because you have to let it all go and just play. Those who don't or can't do this will always sound 'wooden' for lack of a better word. And having sophisticated 'technique' is a very easy way to hide behind the notes.


Any great player will tell you that have been practicing scales/arpeggios for years and years, and I am pretty sure they will say you need to do that too if you want to play like Jarrett. That's like saying you want to be a good basketball play and play inspired but doing your daily exercise/grinding won't help you get there

I also feel like you are failing to understand the distinction between what you do in practice and play. When you practice at home, you approach like you would as an athlete and grinding things out, and when you play, you do your best to just forget and play. It's not one of the other, you do both and you need both equally.




Edited by etcetra (03/01/11 12:53 PM)

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#1630690 - 03/01/11 12:52 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
That's like saying you want to be a good basketball play and play inspired but doing your daily exercise/grinding won't help you get there.

Good analogy. Let's look at Michael Jordan - probably the greatest basketball player ever. Did Jordan spend much time learning how to play basketball? Of course. But why is Jordan considered the best? Because he went beyond technique and played basketball his way.

It's like someone asking "how come Jordan's so good?" The answer is technique is second nature to him and now he relies on his gut instincts (intuition) to lead him to that 'perfect' shot.
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#1630702 - 03/01/11 01:03 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Larry Bird stayed 3-4 hrs everyday after regular training to practice shooting, Gilbert Arenas practices 100,000 jump shots(equivalent of scales and Arpeggios) during off season.

The reason they became so good has A lot to do with the fact that they practiced (improved their technique) more than other people. If they were able to go beyond technique, why did they still practice so much?

I don't see anything in that as being mechanical or wooden about technique. You have to have a lot of fire in you to want to work that hard and go the extra mile, and there is a lot of joy in being able to accomplish something . You always have room to improve, more techniques to perfect. Why deprive yourself of wanting to become better?

I think what you want to say is that technique is no good if you let it become your sole purpose and neglect the inspiration/emotional aspect of it, and that's what makes people sound "wooden".. but I think the opposite is equally wrong too


Edited by etcetra (03/01/11 01:08 PM)

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#1630706 - 03/01/11 01:16 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
I think what you want to say is that technique is no good if you let it become your sole purpose and neglect the inspiration/emotional aspect of it, and that's what makes people sound "wooden".. but I think the opposite is equally wrong too

I thought I did say that. smile
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#1630760 - 03/01/11 02:53 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: apple*]
Sir Lurksalot Offline
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Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1248
Originally Posted By: apple*
My kids LOVE the Koln Concert. They found my CD on I-Tunes (which they use too) and broadcast it thruout the house with one of their fancy ipod things. It's much nicer to hear than Justin Bieber.

We've heard at least 20 times this month. I couldn't be happier.


That's great. I strongly suggest purchasing The Bremen/Lausanne Concerts (mentioned above by John in Montreal) if you don't already own it. Recorded two years before Koln, it was actually somewhat better received by critics:

Record of the Year, 1975, The New York Times
Album of the year (Pop), 1974, Time Magazine (USA)
Record of the Year (International Critics’ Poll), 1974, Down Beat (USA)
Record of the Year, 1974, Stereo Review (USA)
Record of the Year (World), 1974/75, Jazz Forum (Poland)
Grand Prix (gold), 1974/75, Swing Journal (Germany)
Grosser Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, 1974/75, Deutsche Phono-Akademie (Germany)
Kuenstler des Jahres, 1975, Deutsche Phono- Akademie (Germany)

From 1981, the Bregenz/Munich "Concerts" release also contains some awesome moments.


Edited by Sir Lurksalot (03/01/11 02:54 PM)

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#1633764 - 03/04/11 10:08 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: apple*]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: apple*
My kids LOVE the Koln Concert. THey found my CD on I-Tunes (which they use too) and broadcast it thruout the house with one of their fancy ipod things. It's much nicer to hear than Justin Bieber.

We've heard at least 20 times this month. I couldn't be happier.


Listened twice already this week, Brings total plays to about 5,000 but who's counting smile

John
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#1633771 - 03/04/11 10:23 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: Sir Lurksalot]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: Sir Lurksalot
Originally Posted By: apple*
My kids LOVE the Koln Concert. They found my CD on I-Tunes (which they use too) and broadcast it thruout the house with one of their fancy ipod things. It's much nicer to hear than Justin Bieber.

We've heard at least 20 times this month. I couldn't be happier.


That's great. I strongly suggest purchasing The Bremen/Lausanne Concerts (mentioned above by John in Montreal) if you don't already own it. Recorded two years before Koln, it was actually somewhat better received by critics:

Record of the Year, 1975, The New York Times
Album of the year (Pop), 1974, Time Magazine (USA)
Record of the Year (International Critics’ Poll), 1974, Down Beat (USA)
Record of the Year, 1974, Stereo Review (USA)
Record of the Year (World), 1974/75, Jazz Forum (Poland)
Grand Prix (gold), 1974/75, Swing Journal (Germany)
Grosser Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, 1974/75, Deutsche Phono-Akademie (Germany)
Kuenstler des Jahres, 1975, Deutsche Phono- Akademie (Germany)

From 1981, the Bregenz/Munich "Concerts" release also contains some awesome moments.



There are indeed a lot of great moments in the 1981, Bregenz/Munich concerts as well. You just inspired me to listen to it this evening smile

John
_________________________
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Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#1659174 - 04/12/11 07:52 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
Pournam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 8

This is a very profound reply to a similar question by KJ himself:

""
Interviewer:Is there anything you could say to musicians who say, "My God, how does he focus that way?" Is that something you can practice?

Keith Jarrett: No. It's a mercilessness that they need to consider.

TR: Meaning?

KJ: Being nice to yourself isn't the way to go about it.{laughter} Everything about it isn't healthy. Let's say someone -- what they want out of life is to make good music, good enough that they can make a living doing it, and maybe have a family, and they don't need a lot of money but... They've already gone too far. What they have to say is "if anything else comes into my life I'll be lucky, but I've got to put everything I have into this seemingly non--rewarding (art) at this point in my life. It is some dark and deep work that has to be done and the lighter and the more technologically convenient our world gets, the less there are going to be people who even know that there's anything like that. They'll just say, "Gee he was awfully talented," instead of saying, "I wonder what work he had to do to get there?" Like I was born focused, you know? That's what my mother said when I was born, "Oh what a focused little baby!"

"end quote"

Thats on the more practical side of things, as was Philip Glass' reply to the question "what is your secret?"
PG: I have no secret... oh, yes, actually. I get up at 6am and sit to write until 6 pm, and have been doing that for the past 40 years.

The problem is what yo do when that time is invested is a key factor.

And as you distrust or judge as new age some comments with good pointers you need to consider KJ is deeply devoted to the work of Gurdjieff (who was an Armenian spiritual teacher) and even recorded an album of his music.
People often only acquainted with his work in Jazz are not very aware of the influence of spirituality in his life and art, in fact it is the core influence in his work. To highlight the spiritual aspect of his work he said he calls an improvised piece "HYMN" when it works, when it is truly inspired.

Look up his interviews, read his authorized bio by Ian Carr...
Something else usually dismissed is the level of work he has done with classical music since he was less than two digits old.
His technique came from classical studies, SERIOUS studies, BACH WTC for example, that is why he has that incredible intricate texture in his melodies, you can't even imagine something close to those melodies in the vid you posted without a high level of INSPIRED classical studies (not mechanic repetitive riffs that will turn you into a second rate machine).
BUT!
Technique comes after, in support of musical ideas and inspiration (this is also in his bio or some interview I read). He only practiced a certain scale when he needed to play it in service of musical ideas, or he would pick a classical piece he liked to acquire the technique...

...

No artist can emulate another and get even close to his level of musicianship because that transcendence comes from within, I believe this is why Gurdjieff's writing resonated so deeply with Jarrett.

KJ did not become KJ by emulating someone, you can be sure of that. This might all seem new age but it is the best advice you could get, in my opinion obviously. Unless you want to be a third rate Jarrett emulator, or a first rate Jarrett emulator for what matters, why not be a first rate CharlieHornsby?

You can't get that by practicing methods, jazz riffs, studying transcriptions (of the Koln for ex), do that if you wan't but not for the purpose of inspiration and musicality. He was grateful for being expeled from Berklee for this reason, he would not have become the artist he has if he had stayed there (these are his words).

Jarrett himself has said he has never even practiced Jazz, at home he only practices classical (I don't know how honest that is but at most it is a bit exagerated).

What he says is that he gets technique from classical and inspiration by playing gigs with great musicians. He follows his own voice, has always done that and this is where he is.

This is my honest view, I am a young composer/pianist who was introduced to Jarrett's music after someone heard me playing 'spontaneous compositions' that reminded of Jerrett.
I don't play jazz in the traditional sense but everything I do is either classical or improvised. Every time I hear him play, even if his music is very different to what I do (and my talent is a hundredth fraction of his), I feel the inspiration comes from the same place.

...

I would recommend studying the WTC by BACH before any jazz riffs, that is divinely inspired music and will give you a lot of technique and material that will become part of your mind, hands and fingers.
If you have that technique and it is inspiration that you need, try improvising without any context, without any form, without any harmonic or rhythmic structure, not in any style , not in Jazz, connect to the moment, to music, to the sound that the instrument reflects. And try to play complete single independent pieces from start to finish, spontaneously and as unique as you possibly can. This is a practice and will grow over time, it can be like jazz, it can be like classical, it can be like Jarret or whomever, if that is where inspiration takes you.

""""""""
Interviewer: So even at home, you wouldn't sit down and improvise in a Mozart style?

KJ: No, I never feel the impulse. I looked at various cadenzas. When Mozart writes one, I usually use it. If there's no Mozart, I tend to be using Badura--Skoda.

TR: When I was listening to your "Book of Ways,"(clavichord improvisations) there were a number of pieces that were in a contrapuntal, perhaps baroque or early classical style. So I thought you were improvising in that style."

TR: Well, when sound takes me there, then it's not improvising in a style to me. It's the sound (and) how it relates to what I've heard maybe. It can turn into that especially if the instrument is so provocatively historical which, of course the clavichord is.

TR: So those were completely spontaneous? The sound inspired you to go in that direction?

KJ: Yeah, that whole recording was done in one afternoon and everything was a first take and nothing was coming from any pre--ordained thing. I had no material.



N.

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#1659300 - 04/13/11 03:31 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: Pournam]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
As KJ is one of my most inspirational and influential pianists who can play classical, jazz, rock, blues, you name it, he can do it. And he started playing when he was about 3-4 years old, discovered he had perfect pitch and developed a stupendous technique and a set of ears that can pick up the language in any style.

Keith was a child prodigy, that's a given, but he also put in endless hours studying and playing the piano constantly, plus recording and touring to perform concerts. He is just a natural. The same way that an artist can draw and paint like an Andrew Wyeth.

Listening to KJ, Bill Evans, Chick, Oscar P, Herbie H. Bud P, Ahmad Jamal is what keeps me going and studying to keep growing and learning.

katt

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#1659431 - 04/13/11 11:20 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
mikf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 66
Loc: Texas
I read that recent study has shown that when people do an intense activity for a long time that requires a particular part of brain function, the brain actually allocates significantly more space to it. So a prodigy is a young person who initially shows some early aptitude and interest,and because they have that aptitude and interest they spend large amounts of time on it, and as a result the brain actually changes to make them even more adapted to it. This is why prodigies can appear almost superhuman in their ability - they actually become a little bit superhuman in the brain area that matters. The interesting thing is that it disappears if they stop working at it - ie the brain goes back to normal space allocation. They saw this in London taxi drivers - very ordinary guys whose brain developed large areas devoted to visual memory so they can pass the test known as the 'knowledge'. When they retired from taxi driving it changed back.
So people like KJ dont just work hard, they actually have a brain that has physically adapted to what they do. Cant compete with that!

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#1659445 - 04/13/11 11:40 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: Pournam]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Pournam,

While I can relate to some of your sentiments, In general I disagree with a lot of what you are saying. As far as I know, Pat Metheny still transcribes to this day, and I've seen videos where people like Oscar Peterson will his influences (Errol Garner, Nat King Cole ..etc) and play in their style.

The whole purpose of emulating someone isn't to be another clone, but to acquire the knowledge that comes with it (in this case, the language of jazz). It's the same reason classical composers study Bach, Beethoven..etc as starting point.

I am not sure if this is your intent, but it sounds somewhat contradicting when you tell people not to emulate other jazz masters, and yet recommend studying Bach's music.

Also There are plenty of great musicians that did graduate from Berklee and play incredibly well.

Ultimately everyone has different way to master this craft called jazz.

btw I am not against new age philosophy per se. I am just weary of the kind of New age philosophy that seem that preach easy answer and cliches. The kind of spirituality that KJ is into is much more deeper then that. There is a huge difference between the works of Gurdjieff and most of the new age self-help book that's out there.

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#1659544 - 04/13/11 01:55 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
Pournam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 8
Yes, I agree. I had to run out the door and finished quickly to post.
I meant to say that, it's not wrong to study others style and music when it comes to Jazz, but it is a matter of balance or 'background/foreground'.
BACH is arguably the foundation of keyboard playing, one thing is to transcribe and play transcriptions of the great Jazz pianists, another is to study those riffs and licks that make all players sound alike. There is nothing wrong with this either, but know that this is what you'll get, if you practice riffs you will play riffs. Even if it's Jarrett riffs.
When I said foreground/background I'm referring to: what is in the core of your music, is it yourself or someone else's? It is a very subtle distinction, a question without a definitive answer. To flow from this core in a performance requires a practice of strengthening the connection to this core.

I'm not against Berklee or emulating per se, I agree with what you are saying.

These are matters that can't really be discussed effectively in a forum without spending a considerable amount of time.

And yes, the new age crap out there is... crap.

N.

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#1659565 - 04/13/11 02:42 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Yea, I agree that it's hard to talk about this over the forum..it's easy to misunderstand each other.

As far as figuring out whether something is yours or not.. the only thing I can do is ask whether I am being honest to myself. Sometimes emulating, taking someone's ideas is good, if you feel passionate about it and want it to make it your own. You may sound like you are copying first but you end up doing it your own ways anyways. I think it's a problem when you get this notion that it's what you are supposed to learn...and sometimes teachers do that if students don't have any sense of direction for themselves.

I think the problem with schools is that often times teachers forget to teach in context of the "core" or what music is really about. Part of it has to do with the fact that a lot of teachers don't play from "that place" either.. I think that's part of reason we have so many musicians with no voice of their own.

One thing I agree 100% is the amount of dedication you need to get there. Playing from that space is a lot easier said than done.


Edited by etcetra (04/13/11 02:43 PM)

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#1659575 - 04/13/11 03:04 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: etcetra]
Dara Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1043
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: etcetra

As far as figuring out whether something is yours or not.. the only thing I can do is ask whether I am being honest to myself.

Okay, completely OT, but I just came across this 1 minute clip, and find it quite humorous.


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#1659583 - 04/13/11 03:31 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: Pournam]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Pournam

Jarrett himself has said he has never even practiced Jazz, at home he only practices classical (I don't know how honest that is but at most it is a bit exaggerated).




I suspect he means that you can't practice jazz in the same way you can't practice having a conversation. Jazz is music that is created in the moment and you can't practice that, you can only do it.
Of course there's a lot of things you have to learn and that you can practice before you can play in the moment at a high standard. You have to learn tunes, sequences, technique, rhythm and so on, but learning those things isn't practicing jazz, rather these are skills that enable you to play jazz.
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#1659666 - 04/13/11 06:07 PM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
BTW, any Keith Jarrett fans who haven't heard his first record as leader," Life Between The Exits Signs" released about 1968. That record sounded modern for its time and to me, it still does. As I recall, all the tunes are Keith's originals. Here is an info link about the album: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Between_the_Exit_Signs and the amazon.com link:
http://www.amazon.com/Life-Between-Signs...0978&sr=1-2

Pick up the CD and add it to your KJ collection if you haven't already.

katt

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#1660003 - 04/14/11 10:52 AM Re: How Does Keith Jarrett Do it? [Re: charliehornsby]
Pournam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 8
etcetra,
That is exactly what I am talking about, that core and the problem with education, and I agree with all of what you say about making something ones own. It requires some serious work, inner work and musical work.

And in the end, all we do is build upon the legacy of the masters. To not do so would be foolish.

That video is great!
N.

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