This gargantuan package – a ten-LP set now compressed into a chunky six-CD box – once was derided as the ultimate ego trip, probably by many who didn't take the time to hear it all. You have to go back to Art Tatum's solo records for Norman Granz in the '50s to find another large single outpouring of solo jazz piano like this, all of it improvised on the wing before five Japanese audiences in Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Sapporo. Yet the miracle is how consistently good much of this giant box is.
When this recording of Handel's Recorder Suites was first released in 1991, it was greeted with warmth and affection by those who already loved Danish recorder player Michala Petri's flawless technique and breathy tone and American jazz pianist Keith Jarrett's energetic and excited forays into classical repertoire. And why not? The qualities that distinguished Petri's playing of Albinoni and Vivaldi and the qualities that distinguished Jarrett's playing of Bach are equally present in their joint Handel.
In this in-depth portrait of one the world's superstars of jazz, pianist Keith Jarrett talks the range of his music, the importance of improvisation, the great artists he has worked with, and about the highs and lows of his life. Further insights are provided by fellow musicians, family members and other musical associates. Incorporating recordings and rare archive footage of concerts dating back to the 1960s and including such greats as Miles Davis and Charles Lloyd, this first-ever major documentary has been made with the full cooperation of Keith Jarrett himself.
Sousa, the American master of the march, also enjoyed great prestige in the realm of operetta. The suite from The American Maid, set in a glass factory and culminating in scenes based on the 1898 Spanish-American War, was among the first theatrical shows to employ actual film footage. The beautiful quintet from his early operetta The Smugglers was scored for his eminent brass virtuosi. The medley of drinking songs called A Mingling of the Wets and the Drys was composed during Prohibition, while the unusual and previously unrecorded March of the Pan Americans – Part One celebrates the independent nations of North and South America in 1915 with zest and elan.