The complete Hymns - Spheres, the recording from 1976 on which Keith Jarrett plays the pipe organ, has always been available in its original 2-LP version but only four selected movements of Spheres were released, in 1985, on a single CD. Now the whole of this remarkable work can be enjoyed once again, as it is made available for the first time in a two-CD set.
Dating from the year after the iconic The Köln Concert and just before Jarrett embarked on his (six-album) Sun Bear Concerts in Japan, Hymns - Spheres was a ground-breaking set of improvisations for its era. They were recorded on the "Trinity Organ", the larger of the two Karl Joseph Riepp (1719-1775) organs at the famous Benedictine Abbey in Ottobeuren, Bavaria. No overdubs, technical ornamentations or additions were utilized, only the pure sound of the organ in the abbey is heard on the recording. Many of the unique effects, although never before used, were accomplished by pulling certain stops part way, while others remained completely open or closed. Amazingly, baroque organs have always had this capability.
Personnel: Keith Jarrett (organ)
'It's a joy to have this unusual recording restored to its original glory...the recorded sound is airy and ethereal, judiciously counterbalancing the music's complexity.' -- BBC Music Magazine, (Roger Thomas)* * * * *
'To argue whether this is 'jazz' or something else misses the point; it is fascinating, compelling and strangely haunting music.' -- Jazzwise, (Stuart Nicholson) * * * *
'Jarrett lets loose his vivid imagination and magisterial sense of form from the outset to create an eloquent and gripping narrative which transcends musical boundaries.' -- Financial Times, (Mike Hobart) * * * *
'Jarrett soon pulls out all the stops to create a beguiling soundscape that seems poised somewhere between Messiaen and Tangerine Dream.' -- The Independent On Sunday, (Phil Johnson)
'Astonishing and often eerily proto-ambient, it ranges from belligerent grandiosity to delicate intimacy with Jarrett's customary improvisational fearlessness. A unique outing.'
--Prog, (Sid Smith)