I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Jarrett: La Scala

#alttext# This album is (p) 1997 ECM. This review was last published in 2003. I remember seeing many copies of this CD for sale when it came out many years ago (which now seems like yesterday)… after having received the Sun Bear Concerts, I reviewed this CD and wanted to comment, even though it’s not, per se, baroque music. Some people like Mr. Jarrett’s solo concerts, others do not. I can say more than any other, his “musings” or moanings, as some call them, distract here the most. The majesty from Dark Intervals is also here, however, and I would also venture to say this is the longest of the concert recordings. At 78:38, anyhow, it’s a lot of music for your buck. As with other concerts, this is divided into 2 sections and as a bonus, includes a rather nice encore, “Over the Rainbow.” I’ve looked, and there is much more information on Mr. Jarrett and the type of record this is out on the Internet. I can’t cover all of that here. In simple form, the man has, since the 1970s, recorded solo improvised piano concerts in a somewhat jazzy, gospel, and classical style all his own. I’ve done it myself… you sit down, start with an idea, and sees where it goes. I simply lacked his technical ability and the depth of his study. What I don’t like about the recording is the length. I like to digest music in smaller forms. Nevertheless, the music itself does not suffer from the drawn-out ideas. And while some may take issue with the… rough or rustic style that the 2nd movement begins and travels to, in all, La Scala was a very strong recording and concert. I also appreciated notes in the booklet which is rare for Jarrett… I try to imagine what it’s like being there during one of these recordings. It would be music to share. The recorded sound is good here, clear, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who likes piano music, across any genre. I had a very positive experience returning to this recording, on the first day (or evening, rather) of 2003. I guess I've been living with this recording now for over 10 years. More often than not, it's to jump into the second section to hear Jarrett resolve the dissonance he creates; but most often, it's straight to the encore, that rendition of Over the Rainbow. The opening is kind of nice, but it takes a long time to develop. Once you've heard this album, I imagine it's something to put on when alone, to read a book. But I hardly ever listen to music to read to, it's too distracting for me. The music has such breadth, it almost seems like something else needs to be going on; it could work as a soundtrack, perhaps. As a backdrop to a conversation with friends. Awesome dinner music. But I also have the benefit now of comparing this Jarrett solo piece to his more recent releases; I find myself going back often to his red-covered album, Live at Montreaux, with his trio. Or the new Jasmine album with Charlie Haden. In this last recording, there is similarity with Jasmine. It has that same homey satisfaction at the beginning. I picture a white house, snow, and a warm fire, and a cozy room to appreciate the music. Satisfying, if that makes sense. The most satisfaction comes at the end. The notes, as I remember, really told a story about Jarrett's reaction to an audience member's comments about the live concert. He got to hear what this music means to others. It reminds us that we are not alone in enjoying this music. It affects us. The simple piece, Over the Rainbow isn't profound, but it is something familiar after a marathon improvisation. It's relief, it's a beautiful song. La Scala is perhaps something I'll listen to every couple of years, but each time I do, it reminds me of things perhaps more important than the piece itself.

It wasn't always about music...

L'ange et le diable