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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radiant
The title (and cover art) of the album aptly describe the music. Keith Jarrett is back with a solo recording. This 2 CD set contains the full Osaka concert (October 27, 2002) and excerpts from the Tokyo concert, given 3 days later (October 30, 2002). This solo recording is different from others in that the format of the improvisations are in "pieces", ranging from 1:27...
Published on May 3, 2005 by Samuel

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense and Complicated
It has been a long time since Keith Jarrett has released a solo album of improvisatory music. Radiance ends that drought with a two-CD set comprising more than two hours of solo music recorded in Osaka and Tokyo in October, 2002.

I suspect that many listeners will put the first disc into their CD players with the intention of being immediately swept into an...
Published on July 9, 2009 by Karl W. Nehring


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radiant, May 3, 2005
This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
The title (and cover art) of the album aptly describe the music. Keith Jarrett is back with a solo recording. This 2 CD set contains the full Osaka concert (October 27, 2002) and excerpts from the Tokyo concert, given 3 days later (October 30, 2002). This solo recording is different from others in that the format of the improvisations are in "pieces", ranging from 1:27 (Part 11) to 13:33 (Part 10) from the Osaka concert, and not the usual approx. 30-45 minute improvisations we've heard before. Although this format might render the recording fragmentary and partial, it is very coherent. The concert(s) flow with an ease and one can always sense a common thread. As Jarrett himself puts it in the linear notes: "The first 13 tracks are discrete pieces drawn from each previous piece [...] The second piece would not have existed without the first, etc." The tracks are spontaneous, impetuous, abstract, tension building without much resolving, and fascinating (my favorite pieces are Part 8 followed by Part 6).

After a second listening, one can sense connections to his other solo recordings, jazz with standards trio, and a touch of classical.

The last 4 pieces from the Tokyo concert fits in perfectly, and have much in common with the Osaka pieces. Personally, I would have prefered the full Tokyo concert on disc as the released tracks do not give justice to the concert (I have heard it in its entirety) and serves more as an appetizer for the upcoming DVD release of the full Tokyo concert later this year, in the autumn. But that is a minor disappointment, and does not affect the quality of the recording as a whole.

It has been a long waiting for the first solo recording (improvised) since La Scala. This record makes it worth it.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite New Solo Work, May 20, 2005
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
To sit and listen to Keith Jarrett's piano, particularly when it entails his solo improvisations on the piano, puts me in a state of awe before the first note is touched on his keyboard. Yet, saying this stems less from the faithful love of a long-time fan but rather from the recognition of the quality and depth of a man's work over so many years.

"Radiance," his first solo offering in many years, can only reaffirm my appreciation and anticipation for the depth and range of moods he has me accustomed to, with his recordings.

Throughout the seventeen pieces selected for this double CD release, Jarrett, again, conjures up moments of sublime tenderness and vivid and soulful conflict.

Not knowing in much detail about his ordeal with chronic fatigue, the compositions included here seem to portrait the range of emotions of a man that has gone through a journey of initiation.

At times, through melodies that evoke a profound sense of personal peace or bound to stir some ancient pains, whether the notes seem to flow or be painfully forced out of a difficult confession, the album as a whole confirms Jarrett's artistic stature and the maturity and deep honesty of his current work.

Jarret's a virtuoso, yet this not only accounts for his exquisite technique but, even more, for the troubled vulnerability he can express so vividly on each of these pieces. It's hard not to be moved by the wondrous combination of blissful and disturbing truths coming out of his piano.

So, my awe has been more than justified, and my gratefulness for a work of such emotional and austere beauty cannot sufficiently do justice to what you are about to hear in these two CDs.

This is one of the most moving, intelligent and courageously vulnerable sets, in any genre, I have heard in a long time.
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58 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, May 4, 2005
By 
o dubhthaigh (north rustico, pei, canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
Perhaps it was his battle with fatigue and stress, but ever since the CD, THE NIGHT ALONE WITH YOU, Jarrett's intensity has taken on an ever more profoundly reverent regard for silence, for what is not uttered, for what is and must be left unsaid because our deepest spiritual aspirations can only approximate and in some way parenthesize what id ineffable. It is what is in Music itself that calls upon musicing to articulate, to clear a ground, to shine and glimmer in a night, not so it can radiate in its own glory, but so that it can remind us of what remains left unsaid. In dwelling so poetically, Jarrett has through his trio and solo work, always sought what breathes when all else goes quiet. Rapturous at times, melodic, abstract, the considerations on this disc operate from a spontaneity that he deliberately attempeted to avoid thinking about and planning for.

The results are profound. Possibly his very finest work to date. The audience was with him all the way on this, even though he notes that they were likely as unprepared as he was. Some sections end without applause, startling both him and his listeners. In the end, there is a silence before the enthusiasm that speaks volumes for hwat they have done together. He hesitated to remove audience coughing and his own sounds, gracefully at a minimum, and reinserted them because they somehow further articulated what was perhaps uneasiness on one or the other's part.

This is not simply improvisational. This is spontaneous. This is Music announcing itself through the hands of one man hitting notes, chords, motifs that either occur or are delivered whole through him, to point back to what it is in the human soul that so desperately needs Music in a world so noisy, so full of things, that something as ephemeral as this would have so everlasting an effect seems at direct odds with our reifying existence. This music belongs to no one and yet infuses all of us, as though we belong to it, and to what it leaves unsaid about the very truth of our lives.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Radiance of Now, July 17, 2005
By 
J. Kwon (Honolulu, HI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
I've been following Keith Jarrett's music for the better part of my life ever since I first saw him in a solo concert in the 70's. I recall that it was an event of enormous consequence in my life and such a startling revelation to witness someone who could be so artistically daring yet without rejecting the classical mechanisms of music, and dare to soar beyond the boundaries and say "let me show you how wondrous it is out here..."

Through the recordings over the years, I've watched Keith Jarrett strive to remain pure and musically meaningful, for what must be a struggle for an artist of this caliber to hold back the easy answers, so that he would not be contrary to his original aim which is to find the perfect reflection of our human experience: to channel that resonant energy without distortion and certainly without preconception.

In this recording, I believe that Keith Jarrett has achieved, after such a long journey, that special, elusive yet familiar sense of home. This is what passes through the stillness of an ordinary afternoon, and it is what lingers in our hearts when the things in our lives have finally changed and passed. This music is the language that illuminates what's around us when we are ready to see it: it is, as it says radiance - it is the radiance of now in full bloom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-balanced and mature improvisation from one of the greatest, October 21, 2005
This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
Keith Jarrett has a lot to say. Two discs' worth, on this release. What's remarkable about this album of solo improvisation, however, is how he says so much while playing so minimally.

Jarrett, of course, was stricken with chronic fatigue syndrome in the 90's, and didn't release much work during this time period. However, near the end of the decade, he broke free of the disease and went back to work, releasing his solo record of standards, The Melody, at Night, with You, and going on to resume solo improvisation and ensemble playing with his Standards Trio. Jarrett's solo improv hooks the widest spread of listeners, and he displays on Radiance just how mature of an improvisor and overall musician he has become.

Those accustomed to Jarrett's previous solo recordings will be astonished at how atonal much of this release is. Indeed, for well over half of Disc 1, theoreticians would be hard-pressed to find key centers and overall tonalities. This doesn't diminish the music's ability to grip the listener, however. Jarrett's boundless melodic invention and obviously improved technical facility propel these excursions into previously uncharted territory. And as a side benefit, when he does launch into bluesy grooves, they become far more fresh and effective. The most notable one of these occurs as the last track on Disc 2, creating a powerful finale to the "concert". Indeed, the overall sequencing of the release is somewhat of an innovation for Jarrett; it breaks up his seemingly long-winded improvisations in several manageable movements, allowing both hardcore, straight-through-the-concert listeners and those who prefer to jump around the disc(s) their preferred way of listening.

This release will not break through to the general public like the Koln Concert did, but for loyal fans of Jarrett, it's simply exhilarating to hear one of the best getting better and more mature at what he does best all of the time - through sickness and back to health. Many young lions are on the scene, carrying the flame of solo improvisation that Jarrett lit (Brad Mehldau being the prime example) but judging by the art on display on Radiance, the master isn't quite ready to pass the torch yet. Thank heavens.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense and Complicated, July 9, 2009
By 
Karl W. Nehring (Ostrander, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
It has been a long time since Keith Jarrett has released a solo album of improvisatory music. Radiance ends that drought with a two-CD set comprising more than two hours of solo music recorded in Osaka and Tokyo in October, 2002.

I suspect that many listeners will put the first disc into their CD players with the intention of being immediately swept into an experience of melody like that of The Köln Concert; however, these listeners may be taken aback, at least at first. Radiance starts off tentatively, sounding almost as if Jarrett is just trying to loosen up his fingers by playing randomly. But if you can get past the first five or ten minutes, things start to fall into place, and suddenly you realize that Jarrett is definitely warmed up and making some intense music.

By the time you hit Part III, it almost sounds like the Standards Trio, and you expect Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock to join in at any time, but then a couple of cuts later and you are back in Schoenberg territory.
Overall, this is a rewarding recording, but it is not something you can just plop on and enjoy as background music. It is intense, complicated, and grand in scale. I would not recommend it to everyone, but to those who enjoy musical intensity, be that Mahler or Coltrane, I recommend it highly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip into the universe, October 14, 2005
This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
I am distressd when people pan music like Jarrett's. It is one thing to say, "it is not for me." That is legitimate. I respect that. When one calls it, in essence atonal balony...well, the immature understanding of the listener of haromny, motif and sequence becomes more evident.

Jarrett makes no attempt at appeasing the simple palate in this recording. It is complex and expressionist. Deep listening reveals the power of his spontaneous genius at producing color and emotion on the piano. The colors of this music dig deep into the human condition.

Radiance is like viewing the twisted symmetry of an old walnut tree against the darkened sky and like sun rising over a misty vineyard at first light.

This is one to close your eyes and lean into, use you mind, not your palate for "tunish" melodies. Jarrett blends the elements. Jarrett is an alchemist.

If you buy it (and you must) be ready to explore your emotions (and Jarrett's) purely through the sonic exposure of the soul. .

Too good...simply too good!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars profundo, August 2, 2005
By 
Marvin A. Zimmer (murray, ut United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
Being a seasoned listener of Jarrett's solo albums, I was amazed with the high quality of musicianship Keith brings to these solo concerts. Every time I listen to these cd's, I detect influences that range from Scriabin, Bach, Bill Evans, Be-bop, to Prokofief. This is indeed difficult, complex and mature music that requires repeated listening, preferably in a quiet room with good acoustics. The music transcends the moment and words can't describe the emotional impact. Thanks again Keith and ECM for a very honest, compelling recording that I will cherish forever. It will be a permanent part of my cd library along with 'Facing You' and 'Koln Concert'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jedi Jarrett, May 30, 2005
By 
This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
Improvisation is one of the most difficult aspects of jazz. It is easy to follow (or in some instances, approximate) the sounds that are asked for in any particular recording. Being able to use another person's work and build your own distinct version of it makes jazz so challenging. The inventive harmonic/melodic interaction that arises from spontaneous composition is what's amazing about the art of improvisation.

Considering the challenge improvisation adds to any performance, Keith Jarrett is definitely one top-notch performer in jazz today. From Bremen Lausanne (1973) to Radiance (2005), Keith has continually used the piano to improve his ability to compose instinctively. Radiance shows us that, 32 years later, Keith still has the gift.

The closest phenomenon I can remember to Keith Jarrett's solo piano abilities is the often-quoted Star Wars phrase, "The force is with you". The force, for non-Star Wars fans, is the power in nature and in us to do uncommon things and the confidence to believe we can. I think Keith Jarrett's playing employs a non-Hollywood adaptation of this conception. Look at Keith. When he performs solo concerts; he's confident, clear headed, distinct is his direction, and unwavering in the uniqueness of his approach.

Radiance is another installment of solo-instinctive concerts Keith has been doing for the last 30 years. His playing is now separated into minuets lasting from 1 to 13 minutes. For any fans of The Koln Concert (what I call "Understanding"), Bremen Lausanne ("Exposing"), Vienna Concert, Paris Concert ("The Dark 2-part Invention"), La Scala ("Tribal Thoughts"); this is another great installment. He takes turns going from Romantic to Atonal (I wonder if any of the phrases are true Serial; sounds Schoenburg-esque). However, it's the same KJ we have known for over 30 years.

Keith, may the force be with you . . . . as it is now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A look into the future, May 15, 2006
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This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
"Radiance" is a look into the future of Jarrett's musical style and direction. While he is as unpredictable as it gets in jazz, it's clear that the era of the long format improvisation is over - for now. Jarrett, either because of age, infirmity or a need to explore, has opted to shorter pieces of melodic and abstract suites that are emotionally and audibly linked by the listener into one greater piece.

After such a long career of thematic peaks and discoveries, you'd think there wasn't much left uncovered. That's the beauty of this new era: each phrase or passage adds something to one's already vast vocabulary. After "Koln," "Vienna," "Sun Bear" and all the rest, it's like watching a venerable athlete experimenting in ways that keep challenging the audience. Yeah, I'd like an encore of "Paris Concert," but somehow I'd feel cheated were that sort of thing ever released. (Actually, near the end of "Radiance" there is an eerie recall of those sparkling notes of "October 17.")

This is the way Jarrett's going. I heard him at the Carnegie Hall solo concert last September, doing very similar stuff. His attitude is, "This is what I'm doing. Who cares what anyone else thinks?" Definitely not your average musician.
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Radiance
Radiance by Keith Jarrett
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