The topic can't be discussed without mentioning Keith Jarrett. Since I first became aware of his playing with Charles LLoyd and Miles back in the day, I've admired his creativity but have been somewhat put off by his drama and histrionics. The solo concerts in Europe especially are perfect examples of what I've felt re: Keith.
Over the last few months I found an older CD from Keith which is fairly atypical. Its quiet, personal and inspiring. He made it at home on a DAT as a Christmas present for his wife. He was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was pretty ill and couldn't tour. The music is kind of schmaltzy and veers very close to cocktail bar music but its played with absolute conviction and respect and is so restrained and beautiful that I'm deeply affected by it. Its called The Melody At Night With You The songs include "I Loves You Porgy", "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good", "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "Shenandoah."
The quality of the recording is not to everyone's taste, it wasn't made in a studio and sounds it. That quality actually helps to make it more personal to me. It seems amazing that the same artist could make an over the top recording like the Koln Concert and this small intensely intimate work as well.