Friday, 13 April 2018

Keith Jarrett - Dark Intervals (1988)

A typically transcendent hour of live Jarrett, recorded at Tokyo's Suntory Hall in April 1987.  The longest track here, the 12-minute Opening, might start out under the little white clouds on that cover image, but a storm soon brews up.  And hold on a sec... 12 minutes is the longest track on a Keith Jarrett solo concert album?  Yep, there's no half hour plus improvised voyages in sound on Dark Intervals, just eight pieces averaging about 7 minutes, with applause between each.  IIRC he'd only do this another couple of times, again in Tokyo, and then in Rio de Janeiro.

On first listen, especially if you're accustomed to Jarrett's more epic workouts like Köln, Bregenz/München etc, the shorter pieces and applause throughout can seem to hinder the flow of the concert, but the upside of this arrangement is undeniable - it puts the spotlight squarely on the quality of each miniature masterpiece of improvisation.  They're pretty much all somewhere between very good dark melancholy and just outright magnificence - if I had to pick favourites they'd have to be the gorgeous Americana or Ritual Prayer and the constant motion of Parallels.  Dark Intervals is one of many essential Jarrett solo concerts, and perhaps the most accessible post-Köln, for its relative brevity.


1 comment:

  1. Agree on your closing comments. Im not a huge fan of Jarrett having been oddly introduced to his Standards In Norway but chance of the radio playing this gem late night.
    On that note Dark Intervals is a very different album for him can't quite my ear on it but heres something a little different albeit the chords or melodies he's using this is a very sublime and uplifting disc shifting thru different moods like a chameleon of sound. In my book another classic in the ECM pantheon.