Shhh: Keith Jarrett's solo improvisations to return to Disney Hall
If there's a spike in cough drop sales around Los Angeles this spring, it could be as a result of another solo appearance by Keith Jarrett at Disney Hall set for March 27, a show that was just announced Wednesday. Tickets go on sale this Sunday.
While seeing Jarrett pull on-the-spot compositions out of a hat can be breathtaking, as his 2010 Disney Hall concert and last year's double-CD "Rio" demonstrated, those coming to Jarrett's improvisations for the first time should know the mercurial pianist does not suffer breaks in silence. In admonishing the audience to keep their coughing in check during his previous appearance -- which, in an odd bit of psychology, seemed to make clearing one's throat that much more vital for some -- Jarrett is legendary for a zero-tolerance policy toward cellphones and other distractions. And heaven have mercy on any poor soul who attempts to snap Jarrett's picture during or after his set.
Though these really aren't difficult conditions to meet, they are demanding ones, and it would be nice if it were easier to separate Jarrett's remarkable art from his often prickly concert demeanor (a fake Twitter account lampooning his outbursts is good for a few laughs). But, of course, it's about the music, and Jarrett's ability to spin beauty out of thin air is an essential, one-of-a-kind experience. Just be prepared to play by the rules.
-- Chris Barton
Photo: Keith Jarrett onstage at Royce Hall in 2008. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times