Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Keith Jarrett "Death And The Flower" (Impulse!, 1975)

Artist: Keith Jarrett
Album: "Death And The Flower"
Release Date: May 1975
Label: Impulse
Genre: Contemporary-Jazz, Avant-Garde, Post-Bop
Mood: Mannered, Sophisticated, Reflective, Literate
Reminds Of: Herbie Hancock, Chic Corea, Lennie Tristano
What People Think: AllMusicGuide
Definitely Worth Buying: ArtistDirect, Amazon

1. Death And The Flower
2. Prayer
3. Great Bird

In the early 70s, Keith Jarrett formed two groups. One recorded for the German label, ECM, the other (as on this LP) for the traditional American Jazz label, Impulse. The Impulse team consisted of Paul Motian on drums, Dewey Redman on reeds, Charlie Haden on bass, Guilherme Franco on percussion and Jarrett on the grand piano. In both bands, Jarrett never touched an electric keyboard. Everybody was into some kind of spiritual calling at that time; Jarrett is no exception as the album title and his "poem" on the cover show. Death And The Flower is an example of how Keith Jarrett helped shape the way Jazz was to sound in the future. A new "World Music" feel and the chamber music like intimacy make this an innovative LP. The music still sounds fresh and relevant. The first side of this album, recorded in ´74, is filled with the title track. It spends the first minutes to create an African atmosphere with percussion and flute. Then the double bass contributes a riff and eventually, the piano starts and after a searching phase, the beat carries the song to harmonic sequence of minor chords. As the song flows, each musician takes a chance to show his skills. Then, the song slows down just to pick up a new speed, and Keith provides an irresistible riff on the piano moving the band to a dense groove. Prayer is a slow and quiet meditation showing how subtly this group plays. It´s amazing to hear how well each musician listens to what is going on. Jarrett´s improvisation demonstrates a strong influence of the classical tradition, notably Debussy, and at one point, he creates a minimalist pattern รก la "Steve Reich". The last song, Great Bird, recalls the Coltrane sound of his last years. Based on the theme (a falling sequence), there´s free collective improvisation.
The band corresponds in dreamlike confidence. I think I prefer this group to the ECM band. Death And The Flower, in a word, is recommendable, not just to Jarrett fans.

(source:, user: yofriend)

"I would say the difference is the same as that between a photograph of a flowing stream and the actual stream flowing…"


myrkursoli said...

copy the link into your web browser

Death Of The Left Unfinished

jake-for-obama said...

Great, great upload.
This is truly a great album. In fact anything by his American Quartet is fantastic. It is also a fitting tribute to the still very much missed Dewey Redman who left us a couple of years ago. Maybe time for a retrospective on this line-up or even one on Dewey himself!

Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger

thanks for sharing this one, you can't go wrong with Keith in his earlies days!

i can´t wait for this,

gracias, Enrique.

myrkursoli said...

You're super welcome, guys...Wish I'd get more feedback like yours...
I'm a huge Jarrett fan...Wish I'd seen him live someday...

eric said...

I just discovered this site, and you haven't disappointed me yet. Really looking forward to hearing this. A thousand thanks!

neil said...

Been looking for this for ages.
Great share, many thanks...