ECM Reissues Keith Jarrett Sun Bear Concerts  10 LP Box Set

Sun Bear Concerts, documents five complete solo performances by Keith Jarrett in Japan. First released in 1978, it is considered a milestone achievement in the history of jazz recording. "Rich in incident and detail, the music is beautifully produced, illustrated, and presented in this ten-LP set".

The present edition is a, limited to 2000 copies facsimile of the original LP set, described by the late Haus der Kunst curator Okwui Enwezor as “part of ECM’s declaration of independence from standard packaging of jazz records. Setting itself apart in this way, ECM treats recordings as works of art by musicians of the highest artistic and conceptual order.”

A work of art by any standards, Sun Bear Concerts brings together solo performances in November 1976 in Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo and Sapporo, in recordings made by Japanese engineer Okihiro Sugano and producer Manfred Eicher, who travelled through Japan with Keith Jarrett. The set’s book-form packaging was designed by Barbara Wojirsch, and includes photographs by Klaus Knaup, Tadayuki Naitoh and Akira Aimi.

Release date of this "re-created from original analog sources" box set is March, 19, 2021. It is currently available for pre-order on the ECM website for 249 Euros.

DaK's picture

Thank you for the post, Michael. I have already bought the release since it was released a month earlier in Europe. The set does look beautiful. It was advertised as an AAA release. Do you think there’s any way you could gather more information about remastering, cutting and pressing? ECM somehow refuses to give any information about that to me, the release itself does not reveal anything as well, at least not to me.

Michael Fremer's picture
publicist is working on finding out
DaK's picture

... very much!

FrankMcA's picture

It doesn't appear that EMC is shipping to the US just to Europe, Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom. Are you finding anything different

Michael Fremer's picture
Came to me from an American P.R. company. I'll Czech. I mean check!
Michael Fremer's picture
Public Relations firm also confirms U.S. availability around 3/19
PaulG's picture

I just saw the original at my LRS next door the other day for $40. It was a little beat up and missing one of the 10 discs. I passed. Today it was gone.

Laser Ranger's picture

How does that even happen? Missing one of the discs?

PaulG's picture

I know. I searched through the other discs to see if it was sandwiched in another sleeve somehow. I can only think there was a wild KJ listening party in the 70s and some stoned teenager filed in a Jethro Tull album.

Glotz's picture

Great post!

Tom L's picture

Keith Jarrett played a solo concert at my university in the mid 1970s. For some reason it's not listed in the online sources for his past concerts. It was one of the most amazing performances of any kind that I have ever witnessed.
A friend of mine had permission to record the opening act in stereo on a Sony reel-to-reel and he left the mics in place for Jarrett's portion of the evening, although there was supposed to be no recording allowed (bad practice, I know). He was so involved in the music that he failed to monitor the levels, and when Jarrett really let loose in the final minutes the tape overloaded badly, making that portion essentially unlistenable. I've lost touch with him, so I don't know if he still has his rare souvenir.

Telekom's picture

This is exciting news. I notice Discogs lists a 2019 version of this too, a limited edition of 350. My main online dealer,, lists this new release for £199 or $282, but I can't see what the shipping would be to USA (for those in the US keen to order it).

Yanakis Dionisios's picture

I snagged a mint/un-played Sun Bear at Academy Records on W18th Street for $25 about 15 years ago. Having recently bought a Degritter RCM, I ran all 10 records through and re-listened to all 5 concerts. Stunning results, dead quiet pressings and plenty of dynamics. And of course, Keith's playing during that period was other worldly. If the reissue is as good as my original set, it'll be well worth the $300 Acoustic Sounds is charging.

DODGE's picture

Good to see ECM getting some run here on Analog Planet! I got my used copy of Sun Bear early '80s. It was sitting behind the counter of my favorite record store, 'Sam's Jams' without a price sticker in a stack of LP's that must of just recently been sold to the store. Being an avid Jarrett fan since Koln Concert, I asked the owner "How Much"? He hemmed and hawed and I pipe up "Don't you usually sell your stuff for $3.99 each? There's ten records right?" I walked out the store $40.00 lighter but very, very happy. (PS. the box and the records were like new).

DODGE's picture


rijichert's picture

I had never had any luck with ECM vinyl records. The majority of the new records I bought were noisy. Most of them so bad I had to send back. Just recently, I returned Keith Jarrett’s “Last Dance”, having replaced it 3 times. As much as I love the music, I can’t bare listening to it accompanied by the frying bacon.