Concerts Bregenz/München

Music Review

15 Jan 2014
Keith Jarrett
Concerts Bregenz/München
ECM

These two concerts were recorded in 1981 but the full Munich performance has never been previously released. They came shortly after what would become the height of Jarrett's commercial success with The Köln Concert and followed the Sun Bear Concerts. Bregenz and Munich were performed five days apart, hence there are versions of the same pieces at both venues. This was the era when Jarrett had the confidence to idle between bursts of intensity, to coast while waiting for the muse to strike. An approach that yielded a broad range of results from the sublime to the demonic. He combines influences as diverse as Bach, Delius, Evans and Nancarrow and gets closer to boogie woogie than usual in the process. He is also clearly enjoying himself, stomping on the stage and playing in a very physical style, accompanied no doubt by gurning for the rapturous audience. They were right to get excited though, at their best both concerts offer up a master at the peak of his powers, a man totally in the moment, providing a conduit to a world beyond words. You can hear why Bregenz came out first, it's full of exuberance, dynamics and moments of serene beauty, but the full Munich concert is a treat for those of us that are hungry for Jarrett at his best.