Improvising on Keith Jarrett’s “Memories Of Tomorrow”

Hey Improvisers,

If someone asked you to compose a jazzy tune that used straight 8th notes, and included elements of rock, pop, folk, and gospel, what would you come up with?

Well, you might compose something that sounds similar to Keith Jarrett’s “Memories Of Tomorrow,” which took the musical world by storm when it was included as Part iiC of his Köln Concert live recording in 1975.

The piece stood out on the Köln Concert because it had the structural logic of a pre-composed piece, even though the Köln Concert was billed as a total improvisation. Ever since, as a teenager, I heard the recording for the first time, I had wondered about this, and, as it turns out, Jarrett had indeed previously composed the tune and decided to play it as an encore after the improvised concert.

In any case, it’s a gem, and the leadsheet is in The Real Book, volume one.

I’ve made a video to give you some ideas on how you can dive into this famous tune for yourself.

Memories Of Tomorrow: Journey Through The Real Book #227



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