To celebrate not only his 70th birthday, but also the more than 70 albums recorded for ECM Records since 1971, legendary pianist Keith Jarrett and the label are releasing Creation, a collection of live solo piano recordings from his 2014 world tour, all pieced together to form a nine part 'suite' if you will. Don't expect rambling explorations and superhuman virtuosity; yes, we all know that Jarrett is more than capable (just weed through his vast discography as leader & sideman for plenty of that) but on Creation the pianist take a more sedate, sublime approach, creating lush melodic stories that rely on emotion more than precise skill. For some, this may be a bit of a let down, as the tone throughout this set is fairly tranquil from track to track, the pianist rarely letting his fingers go with reckless abandon, instead simply allowing himself to be the soundtrack to your next black tie dinner outing. And that's ok, as lovely tracks such as "Part III" and "Part V" do exactly what they need to, which is to enchant your senses. The brooding, yet exquisite "Part VI" shows the deft, magical touch that Jarrett has long been famous for, as his fingers gently grace the keys with some light vocal hums thrown in to add an extra special touch.
At nearly 70-minutes in length, you really have to appreciate solo piano music to be fully connected to Creation from start to finish, but as a lovely background setting to your next intimate event, or simply a good friend to bring along if you need a late night partner while you catch up on a book with a glass of wine or spirits, this is a good choice.
Part I (Toronto, Roy Thomson Hall, June 25, 2014)
Part II (Tokyo, Kioi Hall, May 9, 2014)
Part III (Paris, Salle Pleyei, July 4, 2014)
Part IV (Rome, Auditorium Parco della Musica, July 11, 2014)
Part V (Tokyo, Kioi Hall, May 9, 2014)
Part VI (Tokyo, Orchard Hall, May 6, 2014)
Part VII (Rome, Auditorium Parco della Musica, July 11, 2014)
Part VIII (Rome, Auditorium Parco della Musica, July 11, 2014)
Part IX (Tokyo, Orchard Hall, April 30, 2014)