I agree with you completely. "The Good America" displays the more tender side of Jarrett. It's a wonderful piece. I still listen to Koln regularly and it never fails to amaze me how this music flowed out of him with apparently no preconceived planning. It's truly like an out of body experience I think to be that full of musical ideas that just release from the mind/spirit to the keyboard.
He certainly is unique -- along with Bill Evans, he has an acute sensitivity to voicing, of just making the solo piano sound ravishing, much like many of the Classical piano practitioners. IMO, he went further than Evans in breaking from the Jazz tradition, creating canvases that borrow heavily from Jazz language but really attempt to be more gripping emotionally. Some of the European "Jazz" practitioners aspire to this, particularly in Scandinavia, and I believe Jarrett led the way in its development. The "Koln" album out of the '70's is quite justifiably regarded as a landmark album,and to my ear he deservedly has earned "cult" status. As Berlin said of Harold Arlen songs -- "Harold's best is THE best", so "Jarrett's best is THE best".
The Koln Concert came out when I graduated from college. The vinyl wore out but I still play the CD. He also had an amazing vinyl of an organ concert (improvised) in Bremen, Germany. Keith Jarrett never seemed to be appreciated in the U.S., not sure why, maybe his arrogance, but did seem to be appreciated by Europeans.
Also meant to mention his performance of classical pieces. I have his CDs of Handel Suites for Keyboard and 24 Preludes and Fugues of Shostakovich. Keith is extremely talented with improvisation/jazz/and tradition classical.
We'll be seeing him play with the trio in a couple of weeks. The first note is always perfect. He'll play for 3 hours or so. The last note will definately be perfect. The only thing is, all the ones in between will be also be perfect.