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Brad Mehldau's 1996 appearance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is a typically enjoyable program in this long running NPR series, featuring the then up-and-coming pianist playing at the top of his game and engaging in enlightening conversation with his host about his interests and influences. Yet another musician who initially began classical studies but gravitated to jazz at an early age, Mehldau is very soft spoken about his accomplishments.
Mehldau's imaginative approach to the standard "From This Moment On utilizes multiple lines simultaneously rather than simply soloing against standard chord changes. The seeming-influence of Bill Evans is apparent in his driving original "Ron's Place, while he showcases his lyrical side in a lush, spacious treatment of "When I Fall in Love, filling it with inventive voicings. McPartland's solos include moving renditions of "I Get Along Without You Very Well and the less frequently performed "I See Your Face Before Me.
Among their successful duets are a pair of old chestnuts ("Stella By Starlight and "Our Love is Here to Stay ) plus a lively improvised blues to wrap up the date. Although Concord doesn't seem to have any particular formula for choosing which of the hundreds of performances to issue from Marian McPartland's radio series, Piano Jazz fans will enjoy every moment of this meeting.
Track Listing: Conversation; From This Moment On; Conversation; Ron's Place; Conversation;
Stella By Starlight; Conversation; I Get Along Without You Very Well; Conversation;
When I Fall in Love; Conversation; (Our) Love is Here to Stay; Conversation; I See Your Face Before Me; Conversation; No Particular Blues; Conversation.
Personnel: Brad Mehldau: piano; Marian McPartland: piano.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.