Every time I've had the opportunity to see Keith play live I've been STUNNED anew. Nothing can prepare you to hear this man's playing. You think you remember how it sounds in general but when you hear him again live you realize your memory doesn't even come close to the reality of the sound you are hearing. As many times as I've been stunned by the freshness, beauty, originality, scope, breathtaking touch and control of the keyboard that he displays in every note, I must say that last night's concert left me COMPLETELY SHOCKED! Here is a man who is dimensions ahead of the closest human, qualitatively, quantitatively, in every way. It's as if a being from an utterly advanced civilization has dropped onto 7th Ave. I had images of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring concert, I thought the audience could just RIOT at any moment haha!
A good deal of this concert was utterly new sounding music. He also tells you what he is doing, musically, partially to help you to accept the sounds you are about to hear. Last night he said that he was totally tired of everything about tradition music - melody, harmony, etc. He said he was only interested in total dissonance, and that any time he felt a harmony resolving, he would get out of it immediately. He then IMROVISED a completely new music, someplace between tonality, atonality, and God-knows where. All played with that great top melody (sometimes in the middle), layer upon layer of perfectly textured and controlled sound, endless flows of rising and falling emotion, and deep feeling. The Divine perfectly represented in piano-sound.
In addition to the new music, he also played lots of boogies, blues, one ragtimey thing, wild vamps and a standard or two. Let's not talk about the tantrums which were heavy towards the end, (it's like a zig-zagging religious ceremony - first he blesses the audience, then he curses the audience (picture takers), then he blesses the audience again haha!- for they just mean nothing in the face of such display of beautiful sound.
If Keith is within 3000 miles of you giving a concert you won't be sorry that you made the effort to hear him. Lennie Tristano used to tell us that the piano was just a pile of JUNK -strings, bolts, etc., but when Bud Powell played it it was something else. Keith can take theat junk and leave you breathless. Thanks Keith, have a cigar man!!