KEITH JARRETT

Born in Allentown, Philadelphia, Jarrett came from a large and musical family, beginning piano studies at the age three and making his recital debut at seven. After this he progressively took up drums, soprano sax, and vibes. Outside of school hours he was constantly appearing professionally in a number of settings, then moved to Boston in 1962 to spend a year studying at Berklee College before starting up his own trio and playing professionally around the Boston area. In 1965 he moved to New York, at first struggling to make an impression but finally being noticed by Art Blakey at a jam session. In December of that year he joined the Jazz Messengers, gaining peer-group visibility during the months he was with the band before joining the quartet that the tenor player Charles Lloyd was forming in spring 1966. By the end of the summer 1966 Lloyd's quartet had become a jazz sensation; by the following year the band had crossed over to the large new market for more sophisticated music now being created by the progressive tendencies in the rock movement of the day. With Lloyd, Jarrett played festivals all over the world and was a constant visitor to the Fillmore West, where the band built a loyal following. Their record of their appearance at the 1966 Monterey Festival, Forest Flower (Atlantic), sold in excess of a million copies. By the time Jarrett left Lloyd in 1969 he was a major piano star. He made a series of trio albums for Neshui Ertegun's Vortex offshoot from Atlantic, including Life Between The Exit Sings (1968), with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. By 1971 the trio had become a quartet with the addition of saxophonist Dewey Redman; meanwhile, Jarrett had spent some time in the highly

Keith Jarrett

charged electronic environment of the Miles Davis band and finally opted for acoustic music. In 1971 he made his debut solo piano album, Facing You (ECM), continued working with his quartet (later known as the American Quartet
after Jarrett formed a similar line-up in Europe with Jan Garbarek on saxophone), and in 1973 began his trailbreaking series of solo piano recitals. Playing often uninterruptedly for an hour or more to rapt audience attention, Jarrett became the first jazz artist to create and sustain a demand for wholly extemporized solo concert performances. He toured the world

Keith Jarrett

intensively in the 1970s and early 1980s using this format. In the 1980s Jarrett began to have his own compositions recorded, both by himself and by other; he also embarked upon a reinvestigation of old Broadway standards, naming the trio he used for this, with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, the Standards Trio. This band continues to reconvene from time to time. Jarrett cut down on his solo recitals, although they continued to occur, concentrating on other projects: in 1991 he recorded one of the first and most effective tributes to the recently deceased Miles Davis (Bye Bye Blackbird, ECM) while also becoming involved in the performance and recording of classical repertoire, from Bach to Shostakovich. His latest large project has been the issuing of a six-CD box of four nights at New York's Blue Note club with his trio, allowing the CD audience to hear every musical moment of any significance from those nights and the development of the trio's overall performance. Jarrett remains one of the busiest and most committed of musicians today, wile his music will continue to fascinate for years to come.