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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brad Mehldau Trio: Blues and Ballads

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Call Brad Mehldau's Blues and Ballads the pianist's “Every Man Set." There has been, from the beginning of Mehldau's career, a sense of the cerebral in his approach, with its classical music influences and his deep technical virtuosity. Throw the sometimes dense and erudite writing for selected liner notes (mostly earlier in his career) into that mix, and “Too deep for me" might be a reaction of the perennial everyman. Except for the beauty.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brad Mehldau Trio: Blues and Ballads

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It's easy to play the blues--or at the very least it's easy to learn the basics--but keeping the form fresh and interesting is another matter entirely. Likewise, any beginner can tackle a quiet ballad, but presenting something simple and pretty is really harder than it sounds. The Brad Mehldau Trio manages its always-distinctive blend of all those things on this lineup's fifth release, still making song-sculpting and harmonic shifting into something both inventive and accessible.They run a vast ...

LIVE FROM PHILADELPHIA

Brad Mehldau Trio / GoGo Penguin at World Cafe Live

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If there's one thing about music that keeps us all going, it has to be endless adaptability. There's no instrument or genre that doesn't have some fresh possibilities still to discover (except maybe hair metal, I suppose). jny:Philadelphia's World Cafe Live offered yet another illustration of the idea by hosting two exceptional piano trios within the space of a week. The basic setup may be the same, but the results could have hardly been more different. Brad Mehldau ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brad Mehldau: Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live

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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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live

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It is interesting how solo piano performance holds a special, privileged place in jazz music. What is even more interesting is how artists have gone to renew this format over and over again as time went on. Along the way they have expanded the language of improvised music by exploring novel paths of thematic developments. An entire lifetime can be spent on understanding how a single instrument like the piano can be re-used and re-planned in variously different contexts in ...

INTERVIEWS

Brad Mehldau: Dragons & Dreams

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For many, pianist Brad Mehldau's recording Day is Done (Nonesuch Records, 2005) with drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier came as close to trio perfection as is reasonable to expect in your wildest dreams. Perhaps perfection is a chimera, yet even if attainable it's at best fleeting by nature. But for Mehldau that doesn't stop the hunt for the stuff of his own wildest dreams. That elusive 'in-the-zone' quality when the music seems to play the musician ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brad Mehldau / Mark Guiliana: Mehliana - Taming the Dragon

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Whilst synthesizer-driven ambient groove music seems like a left-field move, nothing pianist/composer Brad Mehldau does should surprise anymore. The piano trio releases of Mehldau's first recording decade established his reputation as the most influential jazz pianist since Keith Jarrett. The brilliant, emotionally intense Elegiac Cycle (Warner Bros. Records, 1999) marked a significant departure from his previous works, opening the way to increasingly frequent experimental forays--from duo collaborations with soprano Renée Fleming, Love Sublime (Nonesuch, 2006), and mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Brad Mehldau / Mark Guiliana: Mehliana - Taming the Dragon

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First impressions shouldn't necessarily be the lasting ones. Despite, according to the press sheet, having played together for several years, über-pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Mark Guiliana only began touring as Mehliana in 2013, and one of the heavily electronic duo's early performances at the 40th Vossa Jazz Festival in Voss, Norway was, sadly, eminently forgettable. But a year has passed and, in the interim, the duo has clocked a lot of road time, and with the released of Taming ...


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