Brad Mehldau National Concert Hall Dublin, Ireland December 1, 2013 The National Concert Hall of Dublin is a long way from the bars and clubs of Greenwich Village, New York, where pianist Brad Mehldau cut his teeth in the early 1990s. Originally built for the Dublin International Exhibition of 1865 this impressive edifice is the home of classical music in Ireland. The venue says much, not only about Mehldau's status, but about jazz's credentials as an art form--at the very top end of the scale at least. The concert had all the trappings ...read more
Brad Mehldau TrioNewman CenterDenver, COMay 11, 2012Pianist Brad Mehldau takes jazz seriously. He named his second album as a leader The Art of the Trio (Warner Bros., 1997). But wait, he didn't use that name for just one album; he released five albums, as a series, under that name. Those albums came out from 1997 to 2001 and have recently been reissued in a box set, Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996-2001 (Nonesuch, 2011).Since that time, he's worked in a variety of other contexts and with other instrumentation including, notably, guitarist Pat Metheny ...read more
Brad Mehldau / The St. Paul Chamber OrchestraCarnegie HallNew York, New YorkNovember 9, 2010Zankel Hall was rife with anticipation before pianist Brad Mehldau took the stage, along with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, to debut his recently released Highway Rider (Nonesuch, 2010) live in New York, and rightly so. Highway Rider is Mehldau's first formal foray into the world of orchestral jazz, and to read the self-composed notes in the playbill, it seemed the pianist took this music as seriously as did the New York jazz cognoscenti in attendance. It was only after he playfully ...read more
Brad Mehldau & Joshua Redman Flynn Center for The Performing Arts Burlington, VT April 28, 2010
Brad Mehldau is such a commanding presence as a musician, he overshadowed saxophonist Joshua Redman virtually throughout the duo's ninety-minute performance on Vermont's Flynn Performing Arts Center MainStage on April 28th. The most intense moment of the ninety-minute set arose directly from the depth of passion and detail in the pianist's playing and while his counterpart rose to the occasion as an improvisationalist, he could not match his one-time band mate.
The tone was set for the evening, ...read more
Brad Mehldau TrioGrand TheatreKingston, CanadaApril 11, 2010
When a trio has been together as long as pianist Brad Mehldau's--the current incarnation, with original bassist Larry Grenadier and relative newcomer (but no stranger to either of his band mates), drummer Jeff Ballard, has been together for over five years, first heard on Day is Done (Nonesuch, 2005)--it's hard to imagine any gig being a bad gig. But time and place can still sometimes coalesce to create a context where a group can transcend even its greatest creative consistencies, and Mehldau's performance at the Grand Theatre in ...read more
Joshua Redman and Brad MehldauZankel Hall at Skidmore CollegeSaratoga Springs, NYApril 16, 2010Duets are not an uncommon format in jazz, but what might be less common is the supreme level of synergy and empathy that saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau have for one another on their current mini-tour that made a stop in Saratoga Springs, NY, on April 16.
The tour runs to about the middle of May before the long-time friends part for other projects. (In fact, Redman starts performing in a new collaborative band, James Farm, before the duet ...read more
Brad Mehldau Trio 41st Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival Palau de la Música November 10, 2009
There is great debate among jazz fans these days, particularly among those who favor jazz trios, whether Brad Mehldau and his trio of Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard, have fallen into a rut and are happy to stay there or whether they have simply found their groove and are deepening and enriching a narrow niche. Mehldau is a prodigiously talented pianist, his fluid technique and fertile embroidering on display at the trio's performance at the Palau de ...read more
Brad Mehldau Trio Village Vanguard New York, NY May 5 & 9, 2009 No major jazz artist of the last 25 years has been more closely associated with a single venue than pianist Brad Mehldau with the Village Vanguard. Of the 11 trio albums he's released since signing with Warner Bros in 1994, four have been recorded live at jazz's most hallowed club. Pianist Bill Evans—who had a similarly synergistic relationship with the Vanguard (Mehldau once wrote that the comparison to Evans has been a thorn in my side.")—used to play there six weeks ...read more
Brad Mehldau TrioWolf Trap, The BarnsVienna, VirginiaApril 30, 2008
A well-developed solo is a beautiful construction that takes time. Using time to their advantage, the Brad Mehldau Trio played an intoxicating set at the Barns at Wolftrap. The trio's latest album, Live (Nonesuch, 2008), came to life as the sense of blossoming solos on the recording was fully in flower on stage.
They played material none of which was on the latest release, performing an eclectic set list. An original blues by Mehldau was followed by a quirky composition that featured interplay, over a repeated ...read more
The Brad Mehldau Trio Nighttown Cleveland Heights, OH April 3, 2008
The Brad Mehldau Trio stepped out from the hall at the corner of Nighttown's concert dining room, snaked around some tables and took up their instruments unannounced. Many in the crowd looked for verbal confirmation from an announcer or the musicians, but the boys simply started in.
Mehldau, his right shoulder pressed to chin, frowned over the Work" at hand--in this case, a tune of the same name penned by Thelonious Monk--and produced music that sounded wholly ...read more
Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau The Opera House Boston, Massachusetts April 14, 2007
More than one attendee might've been ambivalent while seeing Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau perform at The Opera House in Boston April 14th. Two hours of impeccable musicianship rendered with formidable technique nevertheless contained the same relative strengths and weaknesses exhibited in the pair of Metheny-Mehldau CDs released on Nonesuch over the past few months.
No question there is an uncommon camaraderie at work between Metheny and Mehldau. This uncanny dynamic couldn't have been more palpable in the opening numbers on ...read more
Brad Mehldau Solo Gary Burton Generations Quintet Kimmel Center, Verizon Hall Philadelphia, PA January 27, 2006
In this concert, part of the Mellon Jazz Festival series at the Kimmel, we heard two highly contrasting performances. Brad Mehldau, one of today's most favored jazz pianists, played a series of improvised compositions on a Steinway piano with no microphone, creating a concert hall recital of solo piano music with classical, popular, and jazz implications. This disciplined approach was followed by rock 'em sock 'em rhythm and blues and Latin-based jazz by veteran vibraphonist Gary ...read more
The Brad Mehldau Trio appeared at the Ann Arbor Michigan Theater, giving credence to the impression that less is often more. Mehldau and his colleagues showed a deftness of line combined with a powerful expressiveness that transcended each individual voice, making for a quietly eloquent set.
Formally trained, one can hear the voices of Gershwin and Prokofiev through Mehldau's hands, but more importantly, he possesses a voice that is at once understated yet multitextured. The nature of jazz supercedes the limitations of genre and the mark of the best musicians is the mark of the storyteller, and Mehldau can ...read more
Brad Mehldau/Brad Mehldau Trio Wigmore Hall London, UK November 17-18, 2004
Wigmore Hall, London's home from home to the classical chamber music elite, became a curious uptown outpost of the Jazz Festival this week, as Brad Mehldau packed it out on two successive evenings: a solo recital and a gig with his regular trio, featuring Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums. Booking the classically-inclined pianist was a shrewd move, both for Wigmore Hall's dynamic Artistic Director Paul Kildea, who saw an opportunity to soften the Hall's rather stuffy image, and for ...read more
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