Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Keith Jarrett mesmerized a nearly full Carter Barron amphitheater Thursday might and his two-part piano solo recital proved a trimph of talent over attitude precision over compassion.
The talent is nearly overwhelming. It is never easy for one man playing one instrument to keep an audience's interest for long but, with only a slight lag or two, Jarrett turned the trick.
Grifted with a fertile musical mind, he ran the gamut from pop to classical to boogie-woogie to rhythm and blues and back again. The pianist's unique blend of styles bristled with energy and never allowed for the routine. Francturing time signatures and using dynamics for subtle but powerful effects, Jarrett made familiar riffs sound fresh and exhilarating.
Another plus is that Jarrett is also a visual virtuoso. Rotating shoulders to the tempo, bounding off the piano bench, and vocally whining along with his right-hand improvisational runs, the performer commanded attention even when the music itself momentarily idled.
Jarrett's attitude is another story. Last year, he asked all writers to leave Constitution Hall because "this music can't be written about." Thursday night it was photographers and fans requesting an encore who caught the flak.
It is ironic that the warmth Keith Jarrett exudes in his music is not extended to his audience.