59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
In reality THE LONDON CONCERT (with Paris Bonus),
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This review is from: Paris / London - Testament (Audio CD)
Firstly, although very familiar with Jarrett's work (over 40 years),I did not attend either concert. However, the reason for my title is that how this set appears to me, a monumental one and a half hours at London with Jarrett at his best, with a shorter, and for me less satisfactory concert in Paris. The 5 stars are awarded for the London concert alone.
These concerts were recorded whist Jarrett was still recovering from his second wife walking out on him, and was not mentally that strong. Perhaps the stress, anguish, and emotional turmoil was the driving force to create such emotive music. Both concerts follow the Radiance style insofar that the improvisations are broken into sections, 12 for London. It starts with a melancholic piece, and moves through a more abstract section, rhythmic, almost blues based pieces, pulsating moods, beautiful pieces and culminates with a piece with a touch of gospel in the theme.
I love Jarrett's trio work, but his solo concerts are the diamonds. The impact London has made on me is enormous on the first play, with some of the most intense, emotional playing I have heard from him for a long time - it's an absolute joy!
Unlike most Jarrett albums, there is an informative booklet with a 5 page essay by the man himself talking about why he moved to sectionalised works, rather than the mammoth length pieces he used to perform, the effect that producing such works has on himself, and his marriage break up - it really sets the scene.
Although not relevant to the music, I am delighted that the set comes completely in cardboard,(3 wallets in a slipcase), as not only is it environmentally sound, I abhor those plastic boxes, well done ECM.