listening, day 1 – part 3

In which the author tries but fails to pay attention to Keith Jarrett.

So the next disc of the day, as the missus cooked dinner, was the first disc of the massive Keith Jarrett At The Blue Note: The Complete Recordings. I tried, really I did, and enjoyed the lead-off “In Your Own Sweet Way.” And then, I don’t remember.

Well, not exactly. I caught a bit of “How Long Has This Been Going On” and was puzzled by the way he stated the melody, and…nothing. Somehow, the rest of the disc played through at decent volume without once catching my ear.

Jarrett is highly regarded by a lot of people who know a lot more about music than I do, and there is a certain crank quality to my feelings – let me hasten to say I don’t know the man personally, have never been to a concert in which he acted up and have been kindly disposed toward his music in the distant past, having purchased Solo Concerts: Bremen & Laussanne when I was 19 and feeling like a new world had opened up in front of me.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe Jarrett (for me) falls under the same heading as Ayn Rand does for some people, a wonder in the first flush of youth, and then you end up wondering what you saw in it.

Moving on, I’m at last digging into the Mosaic reissue of John Carter and Bobby Bradford’s 70s sessions, (the first dates from 1969, to be exact) and it’s pretty wonderful. I’m not surprised: Horace Tapscott’s The Dark Tree is one of the greatest jazz albums, and Carter is a big part of it.

Now will someone reissue Carter’s Roots & Folklore albums with the respect they deserve? You can just barely piece together all five from Amazon and The Jazz Loft, but a full dress box set is called for.

(Edit – And while we’re at it, how about collecting/reissuing Anthony Davis’s work? James Newton’s? Much of this music was on the Gramavision label.)

(Edit, edit – And while we were shuffling cars to our dealership and back, E Street radio was on, first with “Wrecking Ball,” a fine Springsteen song – it’s really good craftsmanship, detail on detail in the writing and then the big picture: “Hold tight to your anger/and don’t fall to your fear.”

Second, a live version of “Point Blank,” a song I never liked much but which was transformed in this reading – Springsteen was almost talking the lines, and there was more than a hint of anarchy in the guitar. I think this was fairly recent, from the sound of his voice.)


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