There are two sides to a story like this.
But read this graphic account from the San Jose Mercury of Keith Jarrett taking on the coughers -and getting heckled back – in a 3000-seater venue in San Francisco on Friday night. There’s a branding opportunity for cough sweets here.
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When ya tell someone not to laugh, what happens?
Mustn't cough…..mmm….must..(inner hacking) …not….(turmoil) …..cough…..(bending forward..Red Faced…)…. forget the music…concentrate on not coughing….(burying face into pants)…..Oh god…..for…give…meeeeEH,,EH..EH..ER…hack hack splurge….
I love the odd cough. It carves an escape route through the air of self importance.
I love him
Keith is well practised – April's Jazz Journal has the story and photo of a 1982 collapse in Manchester. But then, in pre-digital days, it was the photographer's spluttering shutter.
Thanks Mark, that's a good point.
I was also alerted by Christian McBride's Twitter feed to an interesting follow-up discussion in the Bay Area Examiner.
Here's a sample
I've seen a number of brilliant pianists in my time — McCoy Tyner, Brad Mehldau, John Lewis — and with every one sans Jarrett I had the impression they we're so deeply involved with what they were playing that someone could have set off a pipe bomb without interrupting their playing. It's a curious muse that gives a genius a train of thought as easily derailed as Jarrett's.
I don't buy the complaint/theory about the audience perversely making more noise during the quiet passages. Just because you're not hearing certain sounds doesn't mean they're not there. In fact, not hearing would be a very useful skill to develop.
One of the key concepts in psychology is “maladaptive behavior,” actions taken through habit or perversity that actual put you further away from a desired outcome. I'd argue that Jarrett's interruptions fall in that category, The audience is a little restive, you rip 'em for that, and now they're so tense and hyper-aware that all kinds of stuff is going to slip out. A polite request at the beginning of the show noting some ground rules (the “how to know when a piece is actually finished” policy, for example, would be helpful) and a bit of flexibility are far more likely to keep the audience working with you.
The full article is here:
That's lecture material for Alex Ross, author of “The Rest is Noise” (that you posted a short time back): “When to cough, when to clap”.
“De-sensitisation Procedure Therapy – ritualistic exposure to the problematic situation (audience noise) in a relaxed setting (his soft ballard), until the anxiety is diminished.”
Three little words: Everybody Coughs, Man.
Why would anyone pay money to see this guy. I don't care how great he is. IMagine shelling out $90.00 and receiving interupted tunes and lectures for your trouble. What a delicate genius!
Someone told me a promoter, driven mad by the various conditions Jarret insists upon, switching grand pianos around and I dread to think what else, went on stage to present him with a baby's bottle.