This triple album covers two Keith Jarrett solo concerts, five days apart, in Paris and London at the end of 2008 - so it's another comprehensive offering of fine Jarrett detail for those who don't want to miss a note of the gifted guru's work. The pianist hadn't played solo in London in 17 years, and the reaction to his appearance was unsurprisingly ecstastic. He didn't let his disciples down (give or take a few testy admonitions about audience noise), playing two all-improvised sets at the South Bank with a little less transported intensity than he had on 2006's Carnegie Hall show, but with a dazzling fertility just the same. Foot-stamping groovers built out of undulating chords, gospel themes turning into abstract treble daydreams, thundering free-jazz odysseys, mercurial bebop, fragile, spacey ballads - all of Jarrett's encyclopaedic improv resources are drawn on, and if two-and-a-half hours of it might seem to be too much for all but the faithful, the sense of being steadily drawn into a personal meditative space rather than a piano concert alone is a very seductive one.
Keith Jarrett: Paris/London - Testament | CD review
John Fordham is the Guardian's main jazz critic. He has written several books on the subject, reported on it for publications including Time Out, Sounds, Wire and Word, and contributed to documentaries for radio and TV. He is a former editor of Time Out, City Limits and Jazz UK, and regularly contributes to BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3