I opened the curtains to a white world this morning and knew exactly what music would accompany breakfast of baked tomatoes, bread and eggs: the Bremen and Lausanne solo Keith Jarrett concerts (ECM 827 747).
This music – which pre-dates the legendary Köln Concert – was in fact the first time I heard solo Jarrett, and, come to think of it, the first time I had consciously heard Jarrett (I had unwittingly heard him before on an LP of saxophonist Charles Lloyd).
It was in the middle months of – I’m guessing – 1976, and it was in a stone cottage in the foothills of the Drakensberg in South Africa. We were visiting the occupant of the cottage, a man named Colin who combined working for a rubber company with abiding interests in contemporary music, especially jazz, and in the healing properties of pyramids.
Over breakfast he opened a dark blue box with green writing on it. Inside were three LPs and a booklet of pictures of the afro-ed Keith. The music was mesmerising – joyous, flowing, with a lot of that country melody that would make its way into the Köln performance and would so influence pianists like Brad Mehldau and Robert Glasper (just listen to Glasper’s Yes I’m Country (And That’s OK) for proof).
The cottage was in the garden of a larger elegant house and there were peacocks outside which looked distinctly unhappy. They were picking their way across frost-covered grass, and the temperature inside the cottage must have been near freezing point too (South African houses don’t usually need much heating and this was an unusually cold snap).
So, when the weather turns distinctly chilly and I am content to watch it from my window, I like to have Bremen Lausanne as a soundtrack. And I think back to that stone cottage, and wonder what Colin is listening to today – I think he now lives in Hawaii.
Do you have a favourite album you play when it’s cold outside? Let me know by adding a comment below. Let’s see if we can warm everyone up… And if you don’t know the Keith Jarrett: Solo Concerts: Bremen Lausanne album, check it out here.
Categories: CD review