Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

26

Brad Mehldau: Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
It is surprising that Brad Mehldau and Keith Jarrett do not draw even more comparisons. Both cross genres with ease, provide consistently high quality content and are unquestionably the finest piano virtuosos in modern music. With the release of Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live, he solidifies his position as the heir apparent to Jarrett's place atop the solo jazz piano pedistal.

The five hours of live music in this anthology are the result of Mehldau's review and segmentation of some forty European concerts dating back to 2004 performances at the Menton Music Festival in France and London's Wigmore Hall in London through a 2014 concert at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The eight record vinyl or four CD box sets contain thirty-two tracks and only in one case is there two versions of a tune, Radiohead's "Knives Out." Given Mehldau's penchant for repeatedly (but with great variety) performing selective numbers from that band, Nirvana, Nick Drake and Lennon/McCartney, it's a generously diverse collection.

Mehldau himself contributes a relatively modest six compositions in the midst the previously mentioned pop favorites and songs from Jeff Buckley, Kurt Cobain and Roger Waters. Jazz classics from Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and two Johannes Brahms compositions are among the other pieces. About half of these performances are great immersions, extending well beyond the ten-minute mark.

As he long has done, Mehldau mines some unusual sources for unexpected improvisational gems. Paul McCartney's "Junk" with its bluesy New Orleans treatment and the sixteen-plus minute reverential treatment of the Brian Wilson/Tony Asher classic "God Only Knows" are cases in point. A medley of The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (which samples The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time") and The Kinks (Ray Davies) "Waterloo Sunset" is another exceptional performance.

Mehldau's brief renditions of Brahms' "Intermezzo in B-flat major, Op. 76: No.4" and "Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119" are no less inventive than the jazz and pop improvisations. In fact, Mehldau notes that he intentionally seizes on the fragment of a theme and manipulates it until the piece effectively becomes his own musical development. It is in his uncanny ability to refurbish tried and true compositions that Mehldau dispels any preconceived notions through his slip-sliding melodic translations, often elaborate and always lyrical, even in the stretches.

Mehldau's ambitious amalgamation of modernism, classical influences and rock tempos is a calling card he has been perfecting for years and—despite the non-chronological sequencing— it comes together very nicely on 10 Years Solo Live. The four CD discs are categorized as "Dark/Light," The Concert," Intermezzo/Ruckblick" and "E Minor/E Major" though the segmentation's purpose is less clear than the labels may indicate. Mehldau's treatments are always so acutely individual that they seem fresh even with repeated listening and even over ten years, and that makes this collection well worth owning.

Track Listing: DARK/LIGHT Dream Brother; Blackbird; Jigsaw Falling into Place; Meditation I – Lord Watch Over Me; And I Love Her; My Favorite Things; This Here; THE CONCERT Smells Like Teen Spirit; Waltz for J. B. ; Get Happy; I’m Old Fashioned; Teardrop; Meditation II – Love Meditation; Holland; Knives Out; INTERMEZZO/RÜCKBLICK Lost Chords; Countdown; On the Street Where You Live; Think of One; Zingaro/Paris; John Boy; Intermezzo in B-flat major, Op. 76: No. 4; Junk; Los Angeles II; Monk’s Mood; Knives Out; E MINOR/E MAJOR La Mémoire et la Mer; Hey You; Bittersweet Symphony/Waterloo Sunset; Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119: No. 2; Interstate Love Song; God Only Knows;

Personnel: Brad Mehldau: piano

Title: Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Visiting Texture" CD/LP/Track Review Visiting Texture
by John Sharpe
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Live North America 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Live North America 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Journey To The Mountain Of Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Mountain Of Forever
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 17, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!