7-25-09: I Remember Keith

7-25-09: I Remember Keith

The Keith I was referring to when I wrote that title was Keith Jarrett. Though I like Jarrett, he was never a major influence on my playing. But there are a some aspects of his playing and writing—notably the unashamed simple diatonicism amidst of all the turbulent chromaticism— that stick with me. It gets me to thinking: some artists influence you simply because they do something that, because it has been accepted by the general artistic community, allows you to feel free to do something similar—you know, the way Jasper Johns made throwing paint on a canvas an acceptable painting technique. It makes me think that a part of this art game really is just being insistent enough about your point of view, and competent enough in expressing it* that the curators of artistic taste eventually give in and say, “Fine, fine. Do it that way. I may not like it, but it must be important because you keep doing it…and, well other important people seem to like it…and probably I don’t know any better anyway…so yes, yes, I DO like it!”