Keith Jarrett Trio at Carnegie Hall (plus: Jazz Festival!)
The concert—which lasted over two-and-a-half hours, including an intermission and three encores—started with “It Could Happen to You” and ended with “I Thought About You,” bracketing, among others, an ethereal “My Funny Valentine,” maybe the most heartbraking take on “All the Sad Young Men” since Anita O’Day's, and a startlingly funky “God Bless the Child” with K-Jay laying down a fierce backbeat while still carving serpentine solos of vast sophistication.
This time, he didn’t yell at the audience (or say anything for that matter), except once, and justifiably, toward the very end, when someone in the balcony snapped a photo, despite the MC’s repeated implorings not to. Then someone else took a shot as the trio began to play, and it’s a testament to Jarrett’s relatively good mood perhaps that he didn’t walk out then and there. (Suggestion: Maybe he should let everyone take pictures for two minutes when he and his bandmates—Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette—walk onto the stage, and maybe a minute more while they pose at their instruments; and then that’s really, strictly, it.)
One other suggestion: Carnegie Hall, one of the great concert spaces for acoustic instruments, should hire some engineers who know what they’re doing when microphones and speakers come into play. In the first half, the piano sounded muffled, the bass indistinct, and the drums way too splashy. The mix was adjusted during intermission; the second half sounded just fine, as well-balanced as I’ve ever heard a miked concert at Carnegie.
This was the opening night of George Wein’s CareFusion Jazz Festival, which continues next week at various halls and clubs around the city, featuring such stalwarts as Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Sheila Jordan; next-generation masters like Jason Moran, Chris Potter, and Jason Lindner; and up-and-comers Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spaulding, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and Darcy James Argue’s 18-piece “steampunk” big band, the Secret Society. The full schedule is here.