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Crate Digger’s Gold: Keith Jarrett – Expectations 

April 15, 2015

I became familiar with Keith Jarrett by way of his iconic solo improvisation records like “The Köln Concert(1975 on ECM) and his work with early electric Miles Davis.  Most of my experience has been through his ECM releases. 

Expectations is a very ambitious album where Jarrett plays in a variety of styles: solo piano, avant garde free jazz, jazz rock fusion, soul jazz and complex chamber jazz. 

Although Jarrett was affiliated with Miles, he only made this one album on Columbia. The fact that they dropped him from the label after this brilliant masterpiece hopefully resulted in someone getting fired. It is not like Jarrett was some inaccessible artist. Three years later he would release The Köln Concert” which has sold nearly 4 million copies. 

I only recently discovered this double LP when I found it in a crate for a mere two bucks. I like Jarrett, and although the copy looked a bit beat, up I figured what the hell. It has been sitting in my preview pile for months without a listen. I am moving this summer so I am now aggressively working through that pile so I can appropriately file them before packing them for the move. 

I dropped the needle on Expectations the other day and I have been in audio orgasm ever since. First despite what looks like a pretty beat up piece of wax this thing plays VG – you just never know until you spin it. But the real joy is the amazing music. 

What I particularly like about the album is hearing Jarrett and his compositions in a larger band context. And who the hell is this guitarist Sam Brown? He is a perfect foil for Jarrett. Outside of his time with Miles I have never heard Jarrett in this context. 

I have said this before, but this is exactly the kind of album that keeps me digging. seventy eight minutes of mind-blowing jams. Pure joy at a little over two and half cents a minute. 

  1. Good piece . Like the line about Jarrett being dropped. Love stuff like that. I think it was the same label that dropped Johnny Cash just before he had his last surge of great music.

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