How does it compare to "La Scala"? which just happens to be my favourite of Jarrett's solo works.
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Spindrifter, you may have also overlooked a title on A&M Horizon, one of my all time favorites.
The title is "Closeness Duets" and Keith is accompanied by Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrain and Paul Motain. It is a terrific recording and an extremely quiet pressing on both of my LP copies.
I plan on following your suggestion. I am now on the lookout for "Staircase."
Staircase has always been my favorite Jarrett release, although Facing You and My Song are close. It seems to me as a pianist that Jarrett visits another place than he seems to in his live gigs (ie, Koln Concert), not so much playing for the crowd (despite his vehement denials) and even his vocal histronics seem more restrained.
Side 2 (of 4), which is entitled "Hourglass" is one of my two or three favorite jazz piano works I've heard to date. Bought it on ECM vinyl when it was released way back when. Just breathtaking. Whenever I get the feeling that:
1) the piano has nothing left to yield, or
2) keyboards (ie. my Kurzweil 2600) offer much more varied timbres, or
3) I want to pick up another instrument that allows more direct contact with the music
Hourglass reminds me the piano is indeed "the entire orchestra in one instrument", as one composer once commented.
Sorry to get so worked up. Staircase/Hourglass/Sundial/Sand is a very special release indeed.
Ok, I couldn't resist. Here's the last paragraph of Rolling Stone's (!) review of Staircase:
"Jarrett reaches a peak of eloquence in the second section of "Hourglass," where a wandering nocturnal theme, two parts Fauré to one part Bill Evans, gradually kaleidoscopes into a fragile, repetitive motif, then returns to its original form like the folding and opening of a flower. This piece alone reaffirms Jarrett's position as contemporary music's foremost elegist. (RS 251)"
I just found a mint copy of Keith Jarrett "Staircase" at GEMM.
I looked at AMG to be certain I had the correct title and the review there almost caused me to cancel the order. In this case I'll take the opinion of a fellow Audiogon member.
"One's man's treasure...", right?
I wonder how that particular reviewer views the larger context of Jarrett's complete body or work?
Other delights I found about Staircase is the wonderful timbre of the particular instrument used for the recording. If memory serves (which is becoming particularly more difficult as I age), this may have been recorded on a rosewood Hamburg Steinway with a distintly singing, cantabile tone which stunned me the first time I heard it.
Let us know what you think after you get a chance to digest it. I'm interested to hear your comments.
Correct Ken, "Closeness" Duets is a Hayden album. Unfortunately I tend to think in terms of the artists being discussed and when Keith Jarrett was brought up, this was the LP that flashed in my mind. ( I absolutely LOVE it.)
"Golden Number" is another Hayden album, but with Hampton Hawes on piano. Hawes is another of my favorite players. Had this thread been about him I would have probably recommended it.
Both of these are on A&M Horizon and both are stunning recordings (at least on my system). I am a big fan of ECM artists, recordings and pressings, but in this case prefer the A&M.
Thanks for the new math Timwat.