Restlessly searching out new territory for improvisations, Keith Jarrett tackles the massive Karl Joseph Riepp "Trinity" Baroque pipe organ at the Benedictine Abbey in Ottobeuren, Germany. He starts out with a pastoral "Hymn of Remembrance," then embarks upon a long nine-movement series of "Spheres" before closing with a grand "Hymn of Release." The devotee of Jarrett's piano will quickly discover that his organ idiom has nothing to do with his piano performances; he likes slow-moving, pulseless, sometimes dissonant, sometimes reverent or ecstatic smears of sound (which makes practical sense in the hugely reverberant churches where pipe organs are found). In the ninth movement, Jarrett can fool you into thinking that he is playing floating electronic space music (on an 18th-century organ!). Yet if one must apply a category, despite the improvisatory element, this double-LP is contemporary classical organ music, much closer to that of Olivier Messiaen than anything in the jazz world -- and only intermittently as striking.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2