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Budapest Concert finds Keith Jarrett once again mining improvised territory and producing magic / Jazz Views with CJ Shearn

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Life is fleeting, a series of joys, triumphs and sorrows captured in a brief glimpse.  For iconic musicians, the glimpses of greatness are captured in three or four decades, and the legacy is preserved forever in recorded form. Particularly for the improvising musician, these legacies captured on tape, in addition to the brilliant moments, also at times have captured the struggle in getting there.  For Keith Jarrett in a career encompassing more than forty years, the concert hall was a sort of laboratory. There, he practiced the art of improvisation without a safety net, first in long 30-45 minute chunks, and then later in his post SEID (systematic exertion intolerance disease) in shorter concentrated doses.  Moments of intense struggle like those leading up to the Koln Concert (1975) culminated in singular beauty, while Testament: Paris/London (2008) A Multitude Of Angels (2016) took adverse circumstance and turned it into rarefied inspiration.  The brilliant moments such as Dark Intervals (1987)  and La Scala (1997) were borne out of a quest to explore. Following the heart breaking news in October 2020, reported by the New York Times of Jarrett's inability to play and subsequent retirement from performance in 2018, his latest archival recording Budapest Concert recorded a mere two weeks after the brilliant Munich, 2016 released last year from his final European tour finds the pianist once again mining improvised territory and producing magic.

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