THE KÖLN CONCERT, PART I
The Köln Concert
You don't have to like jazz to feel transported, not even be a classical music fan to feel moved. You don't particularly need to be fond of piano music to appreciate the master in it. I just consider myself happy to be part of the millions of people who get uplifting emotions every time they listen to this masterpice.
This improvised work by Keith Jarrett starts with some gentle pianowork that swifts from romantic to sad every two notes, making it hard to anticipate what will come next. The 26-minute-long piece -and the whole concert as well- recreate much more than a particular half-an-hour state of mind of a particular piano player. Its constant ups and downs trap your memory and trigger off a waterfall of emotions no matter when you are listening to it. All in all, the whole track becomes part of you just as the bits of life it recalls are. Some of our paths are just as improvised, the way ahead is just as unpredictable, but inbetween confused times and joyful spells, there's always a couple of unexpected notes that pull a comforting grin on my face.
Every now and then we all have to improvise, sit on our stools, face the keyboard and start playing a newly thought tune. We may have a few seconds to decide which keys to play first, but we have no idea how the tune will end. The only commitment is never to stop playing.
Keith Jarrett unofficial: www.keithjarrett.org