This was the renowned pianist’s first solo concert in the United States in over a decade. Jarrett had been appearing in recent years in a trio context, usually accompanied by Gary Peacock, bass, and Jack DeJohnette, drums. As well, this is his third recording in an improvised solo context in three years.
In his previous solo ventures he played in long continuous takes. With this live concert recording in September 2005, he broke the music up into shorter pieces. He is quoted: "If I start to play and a minute-and-a-half later, I feel a piece is over, I’ll stop." In this two-CD offering, there is 66-minutes of solid improvisation. Each part becomes a self-contained tune. The 10 tracks range from tuneful to discordant, with a healthy dose of gospel and blues.
The melodious Part III finds him humming along in joy. In IV, a natural setting is evoked with a trickling stream of notes suggesting rapids before moving into meditative calm waters.
Part V builds majestically then slowly brings it down to barely a whisper. Part VI has a feeling of hurtling through space, Jarrett blasting-off with pounding clusters of notes.
He goes into his gospel-preaching style in Part VII, exhorting the audience to come along, while Part X finds him in an hypnotic, ascending-descending, Bolero-like pattern. With this, he finishes his improvisation section, and the crowd goes wild.
Jarrett generously delivers five encores, totaling 28 minutes to the elated crowd; among them is a lovely "The Good America" and a new angle on a fan-favorite, "My Song." Following, in "True Blues," he really gets down with a boogie beat, singing along as he pounds it out. He then brings the evening to an end with a sublime rendering of the standard "Time On My Hands."
This CD proves again that there is simply no better contemporary piano player than Keith Jarrett.