Published Nov 04, 2019With Munich 2016, Keith Jarrett has released over a dozen albums featuring lengthy, improvised solo piano. When Jarrett plays solo shows like these, he'll sit down and improvise for a full show. No two of these albums are the same, although some are better than others; Munch 2016's one of the better ones.
Over two CDs, Jarrett plays 12 improvised pieces in a range of styles. He opens with a slow, knotty "Part I," and before long he's playing slow and melodic on "Part III." But before long, on "Part IV," he gets into a compelling, up-tempo groove and creating an interesting melody with his other hand. It rounds out with the quick, twisting "Part VII" where the ideas are coming so fast, he's almost tripping over them.
The second disc opens with "Part VIII," an introspective performance that's curiously reminiscent of Bill Evans, before going into a loose groove on "Part IX." After that, on "Part XII," he stabs and darts along the keyboard, playing with an idea or two, daring the audience to keep up with him. The set's finished off with his readings of three standards: "Answer Me, My Love," "It's A Lonesome Old Town" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
With small, concise performances, and a wide palette of ideas, Munich 2016 lends itself well to listeners. It's a far cry from the long, baggy performances he's released, and shows him as a compelling, engaging performer a good 50-plus years into his career. (ECM)