An original and influential stylist, pianist Keith Jarrett brings his unique live performance skills to this solo concert from 1984. With fresh, innovative interpretations of his "Tokyo '84" series, Jarrett breathtakingly ... more »shows why he is one of the most significant pianists of the last forty years. Tracks: Tokyo '84 #1, Tokyo '84 #2, Over the Rainbow, Tokyo '84 Encore.« less
"Keith Jarrett, always riveting as a solo player, goes out into contrapuntal country for a long walk and takes us with him. His inventions on this date are thick with harmonic richness and complexity, and his familiar lyrical moments are peppered lightly throughout, though mostly saved for his gorgeous rendering of Somewhere over the Rainbow'. The lasting feeling I got from his long first movement was one of heaviness, of deep searching- where the sections barelled on in a through-composed pursuit of some kind of resolution. It's best to just listen to it the first time, I feel, because his performance demeanor is quite antic, to say the least. The twisted faces, the squirming, writhing body movements and the incongruous tension in Jarrett's whole physical aspect is quite distracting from the music itself- if you are not ready for it. After a few viewings, all of this began to make sense to me, however, and I hold a new found respect for this man who is cleary dedicated- body, mind and spirit to the act of spontaneous music-making."
Failure to perceive
David Baird | 01/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those who love Jarrett's music but don't like this DVD have to be loopy. People complained that there is too much of his face. If you had a DVD of Shakespeare, would you want to look at his writing hand the whole time? They don't realize who Jarrett is. He's one of history's greatest geniuses. If you don't want to see what his face looks like, then you really don't care about him or his music. You may think you do, but you don't. His body contortions are some of the strangest things I've seen--they are a performance in themselves. I didn't think people could look like this before watching Last Solo. Until you see him play, you can't really have any idea of the intensity with which he approaches his music. It can't be imagined. We're not talking about painful struggle. We're talking about ecstasy and transcendence. You have to realize who these negative reviewers must be. Do you really think the people entrusted to produce Keith Jarrett's last solo concert would be anything but masters of their art?"
Looking at a genius at work
Bruce Trinque | Amston, CT United States | 09/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I very much admire Keith Jarrett's volume of work in performing solo improvisational piano concerts, I have never had the opportunity to see him in person. This DVD is, I suppose, the next best thing. When Jarrett plays, he does not sit passively at the keyboard. Instead, he literally throws his entire body into the effort, alternately standing and sitting and sometimes nearly crouching, his expression an ever-changing mask of fierce engagment with the music he is making. This DVD is a remarkable look at a remarkable musician."
A Study of Keith Jarrett from 1984
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Melody at Night with You" is perhaps the best introduction to Keith Jarrett. If you want to see him play and understand how he creates sublime sounds that penetrate the soul in exquisite moments of elation that capture your heart in deep sighs of comfort, then you may want to watch Last Solo.
From the first few seconds, Keith Jarrett pours his soul over the keys in soft lilting expressions and deep heart-infusing melodies. The delicacy of his playing is like feathers falling on the piano keys and seems born of the way he incorporates his entire body into the experience. He is no longer just playing an instrument and creating blissful music, the piano almost seems to have captured his hands and he is possessed by sound and energy, where his soul and the piano become one.
The way he moves his shoulders almost seems to create an energy that rolls from his body, delicately capturing a series of creative explorations. As he masterfully channels energy and creativity, he modifies the energy by releasing it through his body in somewhat bizarre contortions. This seems to allow his fingers to release less energy, therefore causing the sounds to appear floating, delicate and supremely intoxicating.
As if possessed by beauty, a profound stillness descends over the listener in the presence of eccentric greatness. Comforting sensations lull your heart into a rising happiness or sense of elation. Seeing the invisible and embracing the intangible seem part of the enjoyment, as the body and piano become a secondary stage to the stunning beauty of the music.
A sublime version of "Over the Rainbow" is the highlight of this DVD, as are unique ways Keith Jarrett plays the piano. A moment of humor is surprisingly funny as Keith Jarrett plays the piano in an almost experimental fashion. I can also hear him humming along as he completely seems to become possessed by his own creativity. The minute he sits down to play, a musical possession seems to take place. The musical perfection is the captivating factor and the soul-soothing spontaneity is the ecstasy.
~The Rebecca Review "
Trying Too Hard
David Zeigler | Lumberton, NC United States | 02/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe I am about to write a review of Keith Jarrett that is not a 5 star gushing review. I have been a Jarrett fan for close to 30 years, and I consider him one of the few true geniuses of modern music. Yes the camera work on his concerts always seems odd to me, with too many closeups of his hands, or his face. I want to see his whole body and hands in the same shot, which is rarely done. I know the "true fans" claim not to be bothered by the vocal gymnastics Keith launches into from time to time. I am almost never bothered by his occasional howls and shouts, and his foot tapping usually adds nicely to the music, but his too frequent whining that sounds like an amplified mosquito buzzing is absolutely distracting. It certainly adds nothing good to the music, and in fact, it is noise pollution where we want to hear piano alone.
The best music on this concert is found in the two last short pieces, the first of which is Over the Rainbow. Keith's version of this is something everyone should hear. He certainly seems to respect the piece and brings as much feeling to it as anyone possibly could. So why the 3 stars? Because the two long pieces forming the body of this concert are simply not very musical. Yes they show unbelievable technique and creativity, but not much to really engage one musically. There are some good and interesting rhythmic moments, but they don't sound very different from things we've heard him do many times before. These better passages are "connected" by slow (sometimes painfully slow) meanderings which go nowhere and are not distinctive in any way. I wish someone had filmed his Koln Concert or his other early European concerts when he played really beautiful and flowing music. Now that's something I would pay big bucks to experience. I have purchased much of Keith's work, including the whole Sun Bear concerts set which did not come cheap. My life is richer because I have experienced his music, but this particular concert is just not one of his best."