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Keith Jarrett turns 70 today

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To coincide with the celebration of his 70th birthday today (May 8th), a destination has been created on iTunes featuring Keith Jarrett's mighty discography which incorporates two new ECM releases, a collection of Mastered for iTunes titles and two digital bundles.

In addition to the two new Keith Jarrett recordings ECM is releasing, Creation (music selected and sequenced by the artist from improvised solo concerts in 2014) and piano concertos by Samuel Barber and Béla Bartók with Jarrett as soloist.

Ten of the earliest titles from the analog era are also being made available digitally, Mastered for iTunes. These are: the solo piano albums Facing You and The Köln Concert (recorded 40 years ago in 1975); Arbour Zena, Jarrett's music for strings and piano with guest soloists Jan Garbarek and Charlie Haden; The Survivors' Suite and Eyes of the Heart with the American Quartet with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian; Belonging and My Song with the European Quartet with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen; Standards Vol. 1, Changes and Standards Vol. 2 with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette.   The Mastered for iTunes titles are available either individually or as a digital bundle headlined Keith Jarrett: A Jazz Collection.  There is also a Jarrett Classical Collection  download bundle with Bach's French Suites and (with Kim Kashkashian) the Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord, Handel's Suites for Keyboard,  Mozart's Piano Concertos and Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues.

Several Keith Jarrett tracks can be heard on ECM's dedicated iTunes Radio channel which was launched in March with a curated program of tracks from the label's recently released and up and coming jazz and improvising artists.

Creation signals a departure from the ‘traditions' of Keith Jarrett's many ECM recordings of solo improvised piano. Earlier concert recordings have reflected the flow of musical ideas and inspirations as developed in the course of an evening (as on The Köln Concert, Paris Concert, Vienna Concert, Rio etc.) or several evenings (Bremen-Lausanne, Sun Bear Concerts, Testament etc.)  Creation - drawn from concert recordings made in Japan, Canada and Europe in 2014 - is different:  After reviewing all the music from his 2014 performances, Keith Jarrett honed in on the most revelatory episodes from six concerts in Toronto, Tokyo, Paris and Rome and sequenced them, effectively creating a new concert, a new suite of pieces with its own inner logic and momentum. The concept opens up fresh possibilities, extending the improviser's art to include an intuitive reassembling of material. The resultant album is perhaps the most strongly lyrical of Jarrett's recent solo releases, the choice of music emphasizing pieces in which there is a sense of song being born, voices striving to be heard. Creation also offers the most up-to-the minute account of Jarrett's uncanny capacity to construct compelling music in real-time:  his melodic-harmonic imagination as an improviser and his ability to consistently find and shape new forms remain, after all these years of solo concerts, remarkable. 

Barber/Bartók/Jarrett - Keith Jarrett plays Samuel Barber's Piano Concerto op. 38 and Béla Bartók's Piano Concerto no. 3. These recordings, made in 1984 and 1985 in Saarbrücken and Tokyo, make a significant addition to the pianist's discography as an interpreter of notated music. Jarrett's recordings of classical repertoire for ECM have focused primarily on Bach and Mozart, though there are also exemplary albums of Handel's keyboard music, and Shostakovich's Bach-inspired Preludes and Fugues as well as a crucially important contribution to Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa. Playing Fratres alongside Gidon Kremer, Jarrett's participation would help to bring a then little-known Estonian composer to world attention.  It was a richly creative period. Jarrett had just launched the jazz group with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette that would become known as the Standards Trio and in parallel was giving classical recitals, and continuing with his solo piano improvisations.  Splitting his time between jazz standards, the vast literature of classical music and free playing, Jarrett was juggling three different musical disciplines. 

After the Bartók performance in Tokyo, Jarrett returned to the stage to play an improvised solo piece, now titled "Tokyo Encore – Nothing But A Dream" and included as the album closer.

These two albums mark the first time Keith's work in two genres has been released simultaneously since 1992 when both Vienna Concert and the Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues came out.

In addition, ECM has developed a microsite http://www.keithjarrettecm.com/ which focuses exclusively on Keith Jarrett's ECM discography.