Personalities | Keith Jarrett | Seventies | Jazz & Blues

(Piano, keyboards, flute, soprano saxophone, percussion, b. 1945)

Few artists are as demanding of themselves and their audiences as Allentown, Pennsylvania native Keith Jarrett. A child prodigy, Jarrett first caused a stir while playing in saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s quartet. In 1970, he joined Miles Davis on electric piano and organ. Jarrett soon eschewed electronic keyboards and entered into a long relationship with the German-based label ECM.

In the 1970s he pursued three streams of jazz: improvised solo concerts; knotty, blues- and gospel-inflected works in a quartet with saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian; and more cerebral performances with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen. In 1983, Jarrett formed a trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette to focus on the harmonic and melodic possibilities of the Great American Songbook. Work with this so-called Standards Trio dominated the following two decades, although he continued to pursue other projects, including some recordings of classical works.

Styles & Forms | Seventies | Jazz & Blues
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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