Tim Harford's new book is Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives.
From the transcript of his interview with NPR's Michel Martin:
MARTIN: So your book opens with a story that I had not heard before about the jazz pianist Keith Jarrett and the concert that almost didn't happen but gave us his most popular work, one of the most popular pieces in piano jazz. Actually, let me just play a little bit of it.Visit Tim Harford's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
(SOUNDBITE OF KEITH JARRETT'S "THE KOLN CONCERT, PART IIC")
MARTIN: So the story - as I said, it's really fascinating. I had never heard this before, that he - could you just give me the short version? He shows up to play a late-night concert and the instrument is terrible, and you take it from there.
HARFORD: It's unplayable. There's been a mix-up. It's too quiet. It's out of tune. The pedals are sticking. And initially, he just refuses to play. But in the end, he's guilt-tripped into it. And because of all the adjustments he has to make in playing this piano, he finds a new way to play. And it is the most popular solo piano work, the most popular solo jazz work in history. But it was only recorded because Keith Jarrett thought it would be a disaster and he wanted documentary evidence of what a musical catastrophe sounds like. So it's a brilliant example that having to cope with all kinds of problems and imperfections can make us more creative.
MARTIN: What does messiness do for you that tidiness does not?
HARFORD: So one of the things is it is just helping you...[read on]
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