Keith Jarrett first came to the public’s attention in 1966 as a member of Charles Lloyd’s quartet, of which he was a member through 1968.
During 1971-71 he worked with Miles Davis on stage and on recordings, playing electric piano and organ. He followed up with a duet recording with Jack DeJohnette, Ruta & Daitya, the last time he worked with electric keyboards.
That same year, he formed his ‘American’ quartet (Jarrett, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian) and released the solo piano recording Facing You. 1973 saw the release of Solo Concerts Bremen/Lausanne, which cemented Jarrett’s popularity and his niche as an artist who gave solo performances at which he improvised new music at the piano out of thin air.
Keith Jarrett continued to work with the American quartet, formed the European quartet (Jan Garbarek, Jarrett, Palle Danielsson, Jon Christensen), and continued to release solo piano works such as The Koln Concert in collaboration with producer Manfred Eicher and his ECM label. He also improvised organ works (Hymns/Spheres), composed classically-oriented pieces (The Celestial Hawk), and interpreted the sacred music of G.I. Gurdjieff. His reputation as a composer and improviser easily equals that of his reputation as a pianist.
Jarrett continued to keep up a steady stream of live and recorded performances both as a soloist and in a variety of group configurations throughout the ’80s. In 1990 he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and went through a hiatus from performing and recording. In 1998 he recorded The Melody at Night, With You, a solo piano recording done at home on which Jarrett played mostly standard songs with very little embellishment. The recording heralded his return to recording and performing but it also pointed towards a new, leaner style for Jarrett going forward.
Jarrett continued to work with his Standards Trio comprised of himself, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and bassist Gary Peacock through 2014 when the group disbanded after 30 years together. In 2005 he returned to the stage as solo piano improviser at Carnegie Hall. He has since performed improvised solo concerts in London and Paris and released recordings of these performances.
In 2003 Jarrett was awarded the Polar Music Prize.