Keith Jarrett's mother, Irma, sent him some old press clippings from his childhood performances recently, sharp reminders of just how long he has been honing his unique craft. But though his parents encouraged his talents as much as they could in the "vacuum-town" (Jarrett's words) that was postwar Allentown, Pennsylvania, they were Christian Scientists who believed that spiritual values came first. In his own way, Jarrett (above) still lives by a similar principle. Understanding music deepens consciousness, and deeper consciousness might lead to a more open world; so might his logic go.
"We accept so many things that come through the media; we get used to them, however vigilant we are," Jarrett says, warming to a favourite theme. "But for any creative art, you have to remain 110% conscious, and in a world that's losing consciousness, that's getting harder. It's a hard job, and a lifetime job, but it's still up to every young musician to buck the odds."
John Fordham interviews Keith Jarrett in today's Guardian
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