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Style and the improvised in Keith Jarrett's solo concerts

Elsdon, Peter



This article outlines an approach to analysing Keith Jarrett's solo improvisations. I explore an approach based on topical theory, suggesting that Jarrett seems to employ a range of recognisable styles as a means of creating formal architecture. Using the 1973 Solo Concerts recording as an example, I examine three styles: ballad style, folk ballad style, and blues vamp style. I consider how Jarrett employs styles in certain configurations, resulting in specific kinds of expressive effects. I also explore how in transgressing these patterns Jarrett is able to convey the notion of risk, in a context in which the spectacle of improvisation comes very much to the fore.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2008-04
Print ISSN 1749-4060
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 51 - 67
APA6 Citation Elsdon, P. (2008). Style and the improvised in Keith Jarrett's solo concerts. Jazz Perspectives, 2(1), 51 - 67. doi:10.1080/17494060801949000
Keywords Keith Jarrett; Improvisation; Solo concerts
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