Fortunately, the concert was recorded for posterity by ECM Records , who released the recording later that year as a double-album housed in stylish black-and-white artwork adorned with a picture of an Afro-topped Jarrett hunched over the piano. Get the latest jazz news straight to your inbox! To make matters worse, it was a piano used for opera rehearsals and was in abject condition and badly out of tune. For a renowned perfectionist such as Jarrett, who was fastidious about his pianos and possessed perfect pitch, the instrument was an abomination. When he was given the news that there was no time to get a replacement piano, Jarrett threatened to cancel the show. Making matters worse, Jarrett was not in good shape. He had been suffering from excruciating back pain for several days, a result of which was a run of sleepless nights. Given that situation, it was no wonder that the pianist was ready to call it a day. Thankfully, Vera Brandes refused to give in and managed to cajole and pacify the pianist while technicians spent several hours trying to make the piano playable and sound halfway decent — at least to an untrained ear.
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Pianist Keith Jarrett unlikely to perform again after two strokes
The last time Keith Jarrett performed in public, his relationship with the piano was the least of his concerns. This was at Carnegie Hall in , several weeks into the administration of a divisive new American president. Jarrett — one of the most heralded pianists alive, a galvanizing jazz artist who has also recorded a wealth of classical music — opened with an indignant speech on the political situation, and unspooled a relentless commentary throughout the concert. He ended by thanking the audience for bringing him to tears. But that Carnegie performance was abruptly canceled, along with the rest of his concert calendar. At the time, Mr.
The Making Of … series presents firsthand accounts of the creative process behind some of the essential recordings of the 20th century. Some of them were recorded, some of them were not. But the Cologne concert [in Germany] was one that was definitely scheduled to be recorded. However, for a hour period before we got to Cologne we had not slept at all. When we arrived at the hotel, I tried to take a nap. But it was impossible to do so. The producer of the concert came to take us to the [Cologne Opera House] in his Rolls-Royce, a car that was so over the top that we could have eaten dinner in it, on the perfectly made wood panels. But we didn't really learn the problems we were facing until we arrived at the hall.