By Morten Ravn Hansen, 25-Jul-2011 16:45:00
Keith Jarrett Trio
July 9, 2011
It's just before noon and I am sitting in the shade of the trees by the small lake here in Kolding; very idyllic.
I went to the concert by car. The trip was about a 2½ hour drive away, across two bridges. The Royal Danish Opera Hall is a new and very impressive building! I really felt like a tourist visiting the Capitol! The music hall should be state-of-the-art in terms of sound and acoustics, so I was very excited to both see and hear the concert in this hall. My seat was on the ground floor in the middle and a little to the left, so this should and hopefully would be a great spot to hear Keith (especially).
They entered the stage after an introduction, and there was an appeal not to record, film or take pictures - that is, if we were interested in encores! The audience just laughed an insecure laugh; we all seemed to know his special moods.
Deep bows to the great applause of the audience. Three older guys; Jarrett was in a blue shirt and his usual round and dark glasses. I just couldn't believe that I was going to hear them play! I was beyond excited!
Most of the songs they played I knew, even though I could not put a title to the song. This is typicalof me. I always forget titles…but not the melodies. So I can’t (yet) give you the titles of all the songs. It's just like meeting someone you know, but haven't seen for a long time…you know who they are, but just can't seem to remember their names!
They started out with:
1. On Green Dolphin Street
A wonderful two minute intro, just as we know of Keith Jarrett. I had to pinch my arm to make sure I was not dreaming!
2. Another well known standard [Night and Day]
I knew this standard very well and have played it numerous times. I could sing it, but can't remember the title! I realized that I had to pay much attention to hear the piano and that Jack was too loud, the sound seemed muddy - strange. This should be a great place for music. When Keith was well into the solo, he suddenly stopped and waved his arms to the other musicians. 'What now???!' we all seemed to think! Did anyone take a picture? A loud cough? Please no drama to ruin this Keith concert for him and the rest of us! He complained about the sound on stage. Gary’s sound seemed to be disturbing Keith. They had a longer conversation and talked to the soundengineer, who had an American accent, so I guess it was Keith's own man. "Isn't this fun? Just like live TV," Keith said to the audience, and we laughed, but the magic just seemed to have been lost by this break of the music. "A sound check after the sound check" he said. Hmmmm........ why had this not been done prior to the concert!
3. A beautiful ballad
I did not recognize this ballad, it was more contemporary in style with chord choices, but I tell you it was so beautiful. The break did not seem to affect Keith. The intro was so wonderful, and Jack enters with some loud hi-hat splashes - stop it Jack! I want to hear the intro! This was the best piece of the first set, no doubt in my mind.
4. Monk-style Blues
The theme of this blues was a bit strange, very Monk inspired - maybe a Monk piece, but I couldn't tell. Keith just touched the melody and then Jack was sent on! Full of energy.
5. Standard F-blues
I maybe think this was aSonny Rollins blues, but I am not sure. Super swing and a great bluesy solo by Keith.
6. Ballad [? I’mGonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life…stopped]
- Gospel Piece
Keith started on one of his famous intros, leading into a ballad. So beautiful again, and when the solo began, I was at the edge of the seat, both because of the excitement and partly because of the poor sound. Suddenly, he waves his arms again! He just wants to let us know what a “terrible hall this is, but probably very expensive!” Some laughed, and I guess some felt a bit troubled about this statement. The room was dead, no ambiance, he said, so he did not want to continue the ballad - very sad. They talked bit and started on a gospel feel piece. Even though I was sad that he did not finish the ballad, this was great too, a very great groove! The piece comes to an end and a big applause, but Keith is not finished with this song obviously. He continues in the root chord, and from there they take it on, out of space - typical Keith!
This was the end of the first set. With my expectations to this hall in mind, I was not impressed with this Opera Hall at all! Jack was too loud, Keith too low, and hard to hear the details in the left hand, sound too muddy. And Drama!
2nd set starts.
1. A semi ballad [The Bitter End]
Yes! They are back. Is it really true? Has the sound quality improved? Yes! The piano has been taken up in sound, and the bass is crystal clear… now they have matched the level of Jack. Finally, now I know them again. More focus.
2. All the Things You Are
They continued where they left off and what we know them for. Their special 'Standard-Sound', the interaction and the feel!
3. Tennessee Waltz
Another wonderful intro to this old Waltz, and I thought: Here comes the best of the 2nd set! But there was more to come!
This was absolutely the highlight of the concert! Keith starts with a C7sus4 chord, and some very distinct 1/8 rhythms, a bit gospel like. It changes mood to minor and soon the theme starts. Usually the audience applauds whenever they recognize the theme, but somehow they didn't hear that he started on “Solar.” Amazing solo! And a telepathic connection between the musicians! They take the solo way out in space. Time, chords and melody - everything vanishes, but they still 'have the time.’ Keith ends with some classical inputs before returning to the melody. And now the audience recognizes the melody! The song ends in a c minor groove which Keith starts. Now they are on again, and the groove keeps developing! Time flies and yet it stands still! So amazing, they go on for about 10 minutes - with a total of 20 minutes for this song. They deconstruct the groove until it fades out. Big, big applause.
The 2nd set ends. After appearing a couple of times and bowing, they start on the first encore.
Encore 1. When I Fall In Love
Just as we know them. Short, but wonderful solo, not the least Gary's solo. Gary has really entered the concert in this 2nd set.
Encore 2. Blues in F [Delaunay’s Dilemma]
I have heard this song before, but can't remember the title. Melody, two choruses of solo to Keith, and one chorus to Gary… it almost seems like Keith cuts off Gary! Apparently, Keith wants to go home!
The 2nd set was inspiring and focused, much different from the 1st set. The sound quality was good. I got what I had hoped for - a great experience!
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