One of the hottest topics in Jazz discussion groups nowadays, have been Keith Jarrets opening speech in a recent trio performace at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Italy. This was what he said,
”I don’t speak Italian, but I hope that somebody who speaks English tell those assholes to shut off those fucking cameras. Until you don’t do it, music won’t be at its best and you will have spent your money for nothing. I’m speaking to you, you, you, and you, and also you up there. If I see one single flash during the concert, I and Gary and Jack reserve to ourselves the right to stop playing and leave this goddamn city. It’s your privilege to be here, not mine”.
Here’s the video,
It was also said that he refused to do an encore because of seeing some flashlights during that performance. Keith Jarret is undeniably one of the most egoistic jazz musician alive today, being VERY sensitive to flashlights during his performances. He is also reknowned for not allowing recording gadgets among audiences, don’t ask me why. There was also a case where he was said to have stopped playing halfway in a concert because of hearing some coughing. But despite all these, he is still arguably one of the best jazz pianist alive, being on par with greats like Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Here is a video showing his musical prowess.
You can see how well into the music he was from his expressions and body movement in that video. Sometimes it kept me thinking, is that what you achieve after endlessly striving for perfection in your music?? I remember when I did a three months contract playing with a jazz band in a casino a few years back, there were almost 30-40 slot machines beside the stage. Wonder what would happen to Keith Jarret if he was playing there..