View Full Version : Because 51,800 some odd views isn't enough...

05-08-2014, 09:05 PM
...a bit of background first.

This concert nearly did not happen. Jarrett had arrived in Köln late in the afternoon, after having driven roughly six hours from Zurich to get there. He was tired and also in extreme pain with his back (he had to wear a back brace during this performance) and had not been sleeping well the previous nights. The concert was organized by a kid essentially, a 17 year old, who didn't exactly have an extensive track record. It took place at the Köln Opera House, but, given that it hosted an opera earlier in the evening, Jarret was forced to wait to go on stage until that opera concluded. Which it did...at approximately 11:30 p.m. To make matters worse, Jarrett had requested a particular piano - a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand. However the opera staff, in poking around the premises, found another piano that happened to have the name Bösendorfer on it. They assumed it was the one Jarrett had requested. What they apparently did not know (or what they ignored) was that the one they discovered was a much smaller, baby grand piano. Beat to hell, pedals that didn't work properly, tinny, thin and out of tune. Much of the time between the time Jarrett had arrived to the time he was to go on stage was spent just trying to get the damn thing tuned properly. It was apparently only meant for rehearsals, not actual performance, let alone concert performance. For hours on end, Jarrett did as much as he could do with the thing prior to showtime, but began to think it was simply playable. However the kid, the 17 year old, pleaded and begged for Jarrett to take the stage as the concert was to start soon - to a full house, a sold out crowd (just under 1500 people or so - who paid the whopping price of about a $1.75 per ticket). Jarrett finally agreed to go on and the rest is history.

This concert is largely improvised. Though it would be a shame to skip any of this Part 1, if you do nothing else, forward to the 20:04 minute mark and take in the last six minutes of this masterpiece. I mean take it in. Dim the lights, close the doors, put on some good headphones or crank up your speakers and take this in. It is sublime.


05-10-2014, 07:26 AM
I loved the album that came from this concert and had completely forgotten about it. Thanks for the great reminder and the background story. What fun to find an old favorite again!