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#2114675 - 07/08/13 01:38 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: The Wind]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
[quote=The Wind


Perhaps your ears just aren't attuned to the nuances of jazz. Kitsch cocktail piano is the furthest thing from real jazz.

[/quote]

Keith Jarrett is sort of a bridge of classical and jazz, that's why he is often listened to by classical fans who otherwise wouldn't be interested in straightahead jazz or bebop.

His style of playing, and Bill Evans' *solo piano* (not his work in groups) simply do not appeal to me that much. As i said, I could listen to cocktail music all day long. I cannot say the same about Jarrett or Bill Evans.

But if you want some examples, of true jazz pianists who I truly enjoy listening to:
Lou Levy
John Bunch
Ahmad Jamal
Mulgrew Miller
Russell Freeman
Tommy Flanagan
Beegie Adair

All those guys (and one gal) are true jazz pianists, not the classical-jazz hybrid that Jarrett represents.

Again, this is nothing against Jarrett or his style of playing. It's a matter of personal taste

Also, regarding "cocktail." don't knock it. It's a bridge between the pop/classical world and jazz. Competent cocktail piano requires a high degree of skill, and a good ear for harmony. Same thing goes for easy listening - some of it (the better stuff) makes use of very sophisticated harmonization.


Edited by Michael Martinez (07/08/13 01:41 PM)
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#2114810 - 07/08/13 05:40 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
36251 Online   content
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I'm not a fan of rating great players. Here's a few thoughts on Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans IMO.

Why I don't like Keith as much as Bill - He seems to always get in this counterpoint in every one of his ballads, IMO is overdone. I also don't think he creates arrangements but prefers true improve, which I totally respect except recreating an original arrangement has been a staple for all of the greats. I sometimes think he takes the easy way out by keeping the melody a single line.

Why I like Bill and think he truly could be one of the best ballad players - His arrangements on some tunes, IMO are the standard for future listeners (Here's that Rainy Day, Alfie.) He develops interesting and difficult arrangements. He's constantly used multiple keys, and didn't shy away from difficult keys. His solos always seem to be extensions of his arrangements.

One last comment about Keith's soloing compared to Bill's at faster tempos.

IMO - Bill has his language, but he is great at always tricking you and keeping it fresh. Every note has meaning. Keith, IMO, sometimes plays lines or phrases that he might like to take back. It sounds right but not on the same level as Bill.

Lastly, I like Keith very much and own many albums but don't feel the need to transcribe, read transcriptions or listen to a song over and over to figure out the magic. Bill has been one of my favorites since I discovered jazz. I don't transcribe him, but am always working on his transcriptions from books and am always listening to his body of work, keying in more on his Riverside and Verve years.

I probably play more like Keith live, which you might find weird but that's because I'm lazy and I think it's easier to just improvise arrangements rather than work them out. To create Bill's ballad style, you have to really do your shedding.


Edited by 36251 (07/08/13 06:51 PM)
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#2118035 - 07/15/13 01:21 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: 36251]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: 36251
Keith, IMO, sometimes plays lines or phrases that he might like to take back. It sounds right but not on the same level as Bill.


When it comes to straight jazz, there are many pianists whose playing is superior to Keith Jarrett. For example, listen to Ahmad Jamal on his album Crystal or Mulgrew Miller on his album Live at Lincoln Center. These guys' playing is simply on a higher level.

Even some of the avante-gard pianists like the guy who plays with the Seamus Blake quartet. These guys understand jazz, plain and simple. Jarrett, on the other hand, seems to coming to jazz from an outsider's perspective, like he was trained classically first and then got into jazz later, but wasn't able to fully make the transition.

Me personally, choosing between Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett I definitely choose Bill Evans. He's certainly more in the traditional jazz camp, he could swing bebop lines as well as anybody, and as someone else said, could keep things fresh and interesting. This is particularly a trait of the beboppers.

as I said before, I enjoy Evan's work in trios. Less so as solo piano because I find him very dense and, at times, almost classical-like for my ears. When I listen to piano, I want it to swing.


Edited by Michael Martinez (07/15/13 01:23 PM)
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#2118043 - 07/15/13 01:48 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: Michael Martinez]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez
Originally Posted By: 36251
Keith, IMO, sometimes plays lines or phrases that he might like to take back. It sounds right but not on the same level as Bill.


When it comes to straight jazz, there are many pianists whose playing is superior to Keith Jarrett. For example, listen to Ahmad Jamal on his album Crystal or Mulgrew Miller on his album Live at Lincoln Center. These guys' playing is simply on a higher level.

Even some of the avante-gard pianists like the guy who plays with the Seamus Blake quartet. These guys understand jazz, plain and simple. Jarrett, on the other hand, seems to coming to jazz from an outsider's perspective, like he was trained classically first and then got into jazz later, but wasn't able to fully make the transition.


I don't know how many jazz musicians you can find out there who could agree to that smile As far as I know, most accomplished jazz musicians considers Keith one of the best "straight-jazz" pianist, even by those people you mentioned. I remember reading about how Miles Davis was in awe with Keith ability and asked him "how do you just come up with stuff like that?, or something to that effect. I really haven't heard any well-known jazz musicians who questioned Jarrett's ability as a jazz pianist until today laugh

Some Mulgrew quotes

"MM: Uh, not at this point. I admire all the great trios—Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, right on down to Keith Jarrett's trio---when I say "right down to I mean time-wise (laughs). Tommy Flanagan's trio, Cedar Walton's trio, and I've heard Chick and Herbie play trio and of course, McCoy Tyner. So, I've learned so much from all of the great trios and piano players in jazz that play trio."

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=20635#.UeQ1YGT89Xc

"MM: Yes. Well, I think Keith Jarrett is a melody-maker of the highest order. Not only is he a great melodist, he’s also a very lyrical player, and there’s so much poetry in his lines and his improvising. “Rainbow” is just one of the finest recorded examples of that, for my ears anyway. I just love that piano solo."

https://tedpanken.wordpress.com/tag/mulgrew-miller/



Edited by etcetra (07/15/13 01:54 PM)

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#2118130 - 07/15/13 05:55 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: etcetra]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: etcetra

I don't know how many jazz musicians you can find out there who could agree to that smile


Do you play jazz or talk music with jazz musicians? Most of those I've played with, if they listen to him at all, basically think he's fine but they aren't taking their cues from him. People don't sit down trying to learn all the "Keith Jarrett licks" if you know what I mean.

Anybody who has a skill level will be given their kudos by other musicians. Musicians aren't trying to go around discrediting others. It's tough making a living in the music business. You aren't going to find jazz musicians knocking other people who play jazz. Everyone knows what it takes to get there. You're going to say nice things about others because that's how it's done.

But Keith Jarrett the greatest straight jazz pianist? No way. Like I said, take a listen to the Jamal and Mulgrew albums I mentioned. Listen to the music, don't form your opinion based on the words of reviewers and critics.

Quote:

As far as I know, most accomplished jazz musicians considers Keith one of the best "straight-jazz" pianist, even by those people you mentioned. I remember reading about how Miles Davis was in awe with Keith ability and asked him "how do you just come up with stuff like that?, or something to that effect.


I mean, you'll find jazz musicians in awe of classical players or composers, but it's not saying those guys are playing jazz nor could they if they were put in that situation.

As someone above mentioned, you'll sometime hear Jarrett doing something he "probably wishes he could take back." the perrson who said this is hitting it on the mark. What this menas is that the musician didn't approach a change in the most logical manner or create a harmonic transition in the manner that the ear most expects. This to me always indicates someone hasn't taken it to the next level as far as figuring out those reharmonizations and how to apply them on an improvised line. This always indicates somewhat of a lack of musical maturity in certain areas. Obviously a player can have a well-developed ear and technique for certain things, while lacking in others. This is the case with Jarrett, at least as far as his jazz playing goes.

Contrast this with the truly "great" jazz pianists who have developed an impeccable sense of harmony and harmonic transition. There are so many pianists I would put into this category. I mean, sometimes I have to do a double-take when I'm listening to Beegie Adair, for example because she will construct a set of changes that is a bit unexpected, but absolutely flawlessly executed - it works! But with Jarret, sometimes things just don't quite "work." I mean they work on a basic level, but not in a sophisticated manner.

When I hear Keith Jarrett, I hear somebody who brings his own style, his own sensibility to the piano. I don't call it straight jazz, I call it a "classical-jazz" hybrid. It's beautiful and awesome for what it is.

Quote:

I really haven't heard any well-known jazz musicians who questioned Jarrett's ability as a jazz pianist until today laugh


This thread is about whether he deserves the title of "greatest jazz pianist." the answer: NO WAY.

Quote:

Some Mulgrew quotes

"MM: Uh, not at this point. I admire all the great trios—Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, right on down to Keith Jarrett's trio---when I say "right down to I mean time-wise (laughs).
"


this in fact could be quite telling. Perhaps a Freudian slip? (covering his tracks when he realized he was being condescending?) laugh

Me personally, I put Keith Jarrett in the same category as a Chick Corea or someone like that. They have their own style, they do interesting things, etc.


Edited by Michael Martinez (07/15/13 06:17 PM)
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#2118164 - 07/15/13 06:58 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
BUT .....


but but but .... if anyone would like to attempt to change my mind, give me the album/track of what you consider to be the EPITOME of Keith Jarrett's jazz, and I would love to take a listen to it. Who knows, maybe it will blow me away and change my opinion of him. There's lots of stuff of his I have not listened to, so ...

album/track of Jarrett at his best jazz
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#2118292 - 07/15/13 11:36 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
Happy Birthday knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
That's a problem because everything he plays is perfect. So choose one randomly.
And then if you don't like it, move on and leave it for another life.
Or try again.

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#2118357 - 07/16/13 02:00 AM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: Michael Martinez]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez


Do you play jazz or talk music with jazz musicians? Most of those I've played with, if they listen to him at all, basically think he's fine but they aren't taking their cues from him. People don't sit down trying to learn all the "Keith Jarrett licks" if you know what I mean.


I don't know what part of CA you are from, but I've talked to many great musicians in LA jazz scene who had tremendous amount of respect for Keith Jarrett's music and considers him to be one of the best, including people like, Shelly berg, Mark Massey, Cecilia Coleman and Llew Matthews to name a few. I'm sure Charlie Haden would disagree with you too. Bill Cunliffe even lists Keith Jarret as his top 10 jazz pianists of all time

http://billcunliffe.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/bill-cunliffes-top-10-jazz-pianists-of-all-time/

I remember Josh Nelson(who is currently touring with Natalie Cole) had couple of Keith Jarrett transcriptions and virtually every single jazz piano majors I met in schools have done at least one or two Keith Jarrett transcriptions.

Maybe we just know different groups of musicians, but I can say pretty comfortably that Keith Jarrett's reputation as "one of the best" is pretty unanimous. And I'm speaking from experience traveling and talking to musicians from NY, Japan, Europe and all over the world. You'd be hard pressed to find a younger jazz pianists who isn't influenced/deeply inspired by his music, including his standards CDs.

http://jazztimes.com/articles/28162-artist-s-choice-kenny-werner-on-keith-jarrett

Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez


this in fact could be quite telling. Perhaps a Freudian slip? (covering his tracks when he realized he was being condescending?) laugh


That sounds more like a reflection of your bias than what Mulgrew meant smile I can't see how anyone would come to that conclusion if they actually read the interview or know anything about Mulgrew.


I'll just end this with a quote from Kenny Werner.

"Keith Jarrett is generally recognized as one of the greatest pianists and improvisers of his time. He represents the apex of human possibilities for an artist, where intellect, virtuosity and spirit combine to constitute genius."


Edited by etcetra (07/16/13 11:35 AM)

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#2118407 - 07/16/13 06:21 AM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
36251 Online   content
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Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 723
Here's one of my favorite Keith Jarrett solos. He is definitely one of the best, but again, I don't consider him an "essence" player.

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#2118511 - 07/16/13 12:03 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: 36251
Here's one of my favorite Keith Jarrett solos. He is definitely one of the best, but again, I don't consider him an "essence" player.


Thanks for the link. Honestly I don't hear anything outstanding there. I consider something like the following to be superior, piano solo starts at 1:30 (Lou Levy on his album Jazz in Four colors):

Or in keeping with the "70s theme" (your link was recorded in the 70s), something like the following (Bert Ligon on his album Condor):




Originally Posted By: knotty
That's a problem because everything he plays is perfect. So choose one randomly.


I've listened to Jarrett before. I need something to *change* my mind, not reinforce it.

Originally Posted By: etcetra
I don't know what part of CA you are from, but I've talked to many great musicians in LA jazz scene who had tremendous amount of respect for Keith Jarrett's music and considers him to be one of the best,


When you interview people they're not going to say he's a bad player. Have I said he's a bad player? No, of course not. All I'm saying is in the years I've been playing, nobody sits around talking about Keith Jarrett. If anything we're talking about the old beboppers or the fresh newer people like Esperanza Spalding and David Kikoski. We're either trying to imitate old masters or figure out how the interesting new sounds are being played. Maybe it's my personal experience, but in the circles I'm in he just doesn't come up. I'm much more likely to hear someone going on about Bud Powell or Hampton Hawes.


Anyway, at this point I still would be interested in hearing an example of Keith Jarrett playing outstanding jazz.
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#2118539 - 07/16/13 01:02 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: Michael Martinez]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez

When you interview people they're not going to say he's a bad player. Have I said he's a bad player? No, of course not. All I'm saying is in the years I've been playing, nobody sits around talking about Keith Jarrett.


I am not just talking about interviews, I am talking about talking to these people in private, during lessons, workshops or talking to them after gig. It's one thing to not bad mouth a player in public, but it's a totally different thing when someone like Bill Cunliffe or Kenny Werner goes out of the way says he is one of the greatest in public.


Edited by etcetra (07/16/13 01:29 PM)

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#2118563 - 07/16/13 01:45 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
That's cool and all, man. How about an album/track recommendation?
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#2118574 - 07/16/13 02:07 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446



btw if anyone can figure out what keith is doing rhythmically on the "Heyoke" solo(especially the beggining), I'd like to know smile I've transcribed about 2 pages of this and I've never quite figured out what's going on exactly.


Edited by etcetra (07/17/13 05:17 AM)

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#2118586 - 07/16/13 02:31 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: Michael Martinez]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1194
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez

When you interview people they're not going to say he's a bad player. Have I said he's a bad player? No, of course not. All I'm saying is in the years I've been playing, nobody sits around talking about Keith Jarrett.



You are sitting round with the wrong people ;-)
You know what Miles Davis said? … “Keith, how does it feel to be a genius?"


Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez

Anyway, at this point I still would be interested in hearing an example of Keith Jarrett playing outstanding jazz.

Well, I doubt anything is going to convince you. I feel a little sorry you are missing out but I guess we all have our own tastes. In case you change your mind …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRPchnrZHh8
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#2118587 - 07/16/13 02:37 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: etcetra]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1194
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: etcetra

btw if anyone can figure out what keith is doing rhythmically on the "Heyoke" solo(especially the beggining), I'd like to know smile


I did work that out once, i think it is triplets grouped in 11's or 7's, I can't remember exactly. I think the band was sight reading that tune ;-)
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#2118591 - 07/16/13 02:48 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: beeboss]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: etcetra

btw if anyone can figure out what keith is doing rhythmically on the "Heyoke" solo(especially the beggining), I'd like to know smile


I did work that out once, i think it is triplets grouped in 11's or 7's, I can't remember exactly. I think the band was sight reading that tune ;-)


Yea I remember talking to you and others about this in this forum couple of years ago. I am glad someone finally figured it out smile I don't know how anyone can play with that kind of rhythmic freedom and does such insane displacements while sight-reading a tune. He is just out of this world.


Edited by etcetra (07/17/13 05:10 AM)

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#2119075 - 07/17/13 12:56 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
Michael Martinez Offline
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Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: etcetra
....


Thanks for the links. I'll give my thoughts.
All The Things You Are. The first three minutes are exactly what I remember about Keith Jarrett. A style of solo piano that is good, and somewhat unique, but more of the classical leanings rather than pure jazz. The improvisation that comes afterwards is solid jazz improv. It's good. It's his own thing. He's got a strong touch and he does interesting things. Is it good, solid jazz? Yeah. But I can't call it outstanding - it does not grab my attention and keep me rivoted. It doesn't suprise my ears with something amazingly beautiful or unexpected. Instead he's doing a series of licks and phrases and it gets a bit monotonous after a while because the RH improv basically follows the same rythm throughout. Technically it's good, but *melodically* or *harmonically* somewhat monotonous. One thing that is a bit annoying after a while is that rather than build very long lines, he prefers to limit each idea to a short phrase of three beats or so, and then stop, wait and start something different. Nothing wrong with that, but tends to be a bit "stop and go" to my ears. Contrast this with Lou Levy or Russell Freeman where you've got two guys who can sit there and build a long improvisational line to tell a story and keep it fresh and interesting every time.
The second one, unfortunately, I cannot play because it's "not available in my country". So I'l leave my critique at that.
Originally Posted By: beeboss

You know what Miles Davis said? … “Keith, how does it feel to be a genius?"

We could probably say the same thing about Joanne Brackeen, but it doesn't mean I can sit aorund listening to her all day long.
Originally Posted By: beeboss

Well, I doubt anything is going to convince you. I feel a little sorry you are missing out but I guess we all have our own tastes. In case you change your mind …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRPchnrZHh8

I like this better than the links the others have given. This is more of the harmonics I like to hear, but again not something I can listen continuously to for more than maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Its' too busy.
When all's said and done, it's a matter of taste. Jarret is a great artist, but for my personal taste I can name 30 other jazz pianists who I like better.
In my opinion, for art to be "great" it needs to strike a balance between sensibility and experimentation. It needs to know when to lay off the one and emphasize the other. It needs to know how to weave between the two, instead of concentrating strictly on one. This is because art is a refection of our life experiences and those experiences are never constantly in one extreme. With Jarret and some of the other avante-gard musicians, you've got a devotion to the experimental side of things, and sometimes this "busy, nonstop" style of improvisation as exemplified in the links. But great art strives for a complementary approach, knowing when is the time for refection and tranquility, for harmonic simplicity. Knowing how to transition from that into more complexity or discord or excitement. Putting an absolutely beautiful, subtle passage into a song, even when the rest of the song may be frenetic or harsh. The same thing with composers. Mussorgsky and Debussy created great works of art - a single piece of theirs could reflect many aspects of life, many nuances, some subtle, some obvious. They did this with harmonic (and rhythmic) simplicity and harmonic (and rhythmic) complexity and transitioning between the two. They chose when to use one, and when to use the other.

A film that's just a suspense with a film-noir mood throughout is cool, but not great. A film that that is suspense with legitimate moments or passages of drama or comedy that stand on their own, now that's interesting.

A comedy that is one series of gags after another may be fun, but it's not great art. But a comedy that has a bittersweet undercurrent or a legitimate dramatic section, now that's interesting.


Edited by Michael Martinez (07/17/13 01:05 PM)
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#2119227 - 07/17/13 06:32 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
Music Me Offline
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Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 194
Loc: New York
Basta! Enough already! He is either your favorite or he isn't; You either like him or you don't! Either way its all good! To each his own - it is after all, what makes the world go round!
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#2119443 - 07/18/13 02:56 AM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520

The best ballad player living today:



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#2119444 - 07/18/13 03:01 AM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520


Oh man..


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#2119509 - 07/18/13 08:27 AM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: rintincop]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 723
Originally Posted By: rintincop

The best ballad player living today:


Single note melodies is something I do, but the "best ballad player" should be bringing more to the table. I also think the improvisation for ballads should be more empathetic.
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#2119632 - 07/18/13 12:57 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: 36251]
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520

I'm not sure what you mean "bring more to the table", and more emphatic on a ballad? Who living today for example?

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#2119663 - 07/18/13 01:48 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: rintincop]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 723
Originally Posted By: rintincop

I'm not sure what you mean "bring more to the table", and more emphatic on a ballad? Who living today for example?
I'm at work and can't find a youtube example. Bill Charlap or Aaron Diehl comes to mind.

I guess a better term for what I like to hear is "introspection." Keith's pyrotechnics seems out of place on that ballad.

"more to the table" - Hearing a melody that doesn't sound like it's being read out of a real book. A single note melody from one of greatest ballad player should be a contrast to a denser section, IMO. (not a rule, just thinking of taste.)
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#2120130 - 07/19/13 11:32 AM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520

It's ridiculous if you are implying Keith Jarrett sounds like he is reading a melody out of a fake book. Single note melodies are of the highest expression.

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#2120166 - 07/19/13 01:08 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: rintincop]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: rintincop

It's ridiculous if you are implying Keith Jarrett sounds like he is reading a melody out of a fake book. Single note melodies are of the highest expression.


I am sure a lot of greats have said this before, but it takes a lot to play something really simple and really make it mean something. If you can move someone with simple playing(i.e single-note melodies) stripped of all the pyro-technique and fancy technical stuff, then you are doing it right.

But then again, as far as I am concerned, Keith's simple style of playing really isn't as simple as it seems. I transcribed some of his solo stuff, and IMO he is one of the few jazz pianists I know that really tries to play each note of the chord as if they were separate voices moving in counterpoint. He is not playing series of chords and melody, but 4-5 independent melodies moving to form a harmony. IMO only few jazz pianist does that well(Fred Hersch, Clare Fischer, to name a few).


Edited by etcetra (07/19/13 01:09 PM)

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#2120173 - 07/19/13 01:26 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: rintincop]
36251 Online   content
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Posts: 723
Originally Posted By: rintincop

It's ridiculous if you are implying Keith Jarrett sounds like he is reading a melody out of a fake book. Single note melodies are of the highest expression.
I never implied that Keith is reading and I have the highest respect for playing single-note melodies. Here's the thing - the bar was raised as to "the best piano player of ballads. Using that and being familiar with many of Keith's albums, my opinion hasn't changed. The greatest ballad player, IMO, should have more variety, that's all. Also, like I mentioned in an earlier post, he also uses the counterpoint build-up too much for "the greatest..."

I would like to bring up a point from my earliest post in this thread and that is I'm not a fan of labels for elite players. They all offer something different and all are worthy to be loved.
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#2120208 - 07/19/13 03:12 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
Nice start but then gets a little boring:


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#2120209 - 07/19/13 03:13 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
It's the consensus that Keith Jarret is the greatest ballad player.

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#2120256 - 07/19/13 05:20 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: pianoloverus]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Arguably one of the greatest, yes. I think most well-known musicians rate him as one of the greats, and IMO he deserve that spot among the jazz giants.

But saying so and so is the greatest is kind of silly. Music is not olympics and like other's have said, everyone brings something different to the table. IMO The more you think in terms of better/worse the more you miss out. I love Keith Jarrett, but I also love Alan Broadbent, Clare Fischer, who are not as well-known. IMO they are all very different. I also like Ethan Iverson and Tigran Hamasyan, Taylor Eigsti even though their ballad playing isn't traditional . Frankly I love them all and it seems pointless to say which one is the greatest.


Edited by etcetra (07/19/13 05:22 PM)

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#2120320 - 07/19/13 08:02 PM Re: Is Keith Jarrett the greatest solo ballad player ever? [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520


Links?
I find all those others named to be a little more boring on ballads than Jarrett... Jarrett expresses a direct intimacy that captivates sensitive listeners. I don't think the others are as strong that aspect. It's hard not to become boring on a ballad.

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