With Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner, this seems like a good time to pause and take in the sublime beauty of Keith Jarrett’s improvisation on the ancient Irish melody, “Danny Boy.”
This melody has been a rich source for jazz musicians, from the jubilant virtuosity of Art Tatum, to the sultry soulfulness of the Oscar Peterson Trio, to the far-reaching development of Bill Evans. Jarrett’s approach finds a songful simplicity and a celebration of the moment. Listening to his sense of timing brings to mind the violinist Isaac Stern’s observation that the key to the music lies “in between the notes.”
This clip comes from a concert in Tokyo in 2002:
Jazz is there and gone. It happens. You have to be present for it. That simple.
– Keith Jarrett
- Keith Jarrett: Tokyo Solo 2002, Art Of Improvisation Amazon
Photograph: “Irish Countryside” by Edward Peterson