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Brad Mehldau: Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays The Beatles

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Brad Mehldau: Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays The Beatles
In the press release and liner notes, Brad Mehldau, a spiritual man who delves deeply into subjects that matter to him, talks a lot about the Fab Four's continued universality and to the strangeness of their originality and our assimilation of it. But he never really gets to the point as clearly, personally and succinctly as he does when he plays the music. Because at the end of the day, despite and including the dotted eighth notes, snipped rhythms, big thoughts, concepts and simple pleasures aside, Mehldau is a die-hard Beatles' fan pure and simple. That is the whole enchilada. Like millions of us, he loves and holds dear the band's music.

Mehldau, who is no stranger to the four of finger pies*, has performed such endearing Fab Four nuggets as "Blackbird," "She's Leaving Home," "And I Love Her," "Dear Prudence," "Martha My Dear" and others in both his solo and trio performances over the decades. But here, from the stage of the Philharmonie de Paris in September 2020, he weaves a special, spectral and surely memorable program of previously unperformed Beatles songs, plus David Bowie's dramatic 1971 triumph "Life On Mars?."

Recorded live and as humanly aware and intimate as is possible, Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays The Beatles convincingly posits the pianist presenting both the Beatles and himself as modern-day classicists. The unsettling descending harmony of "I Am The Walrus" starts the program off, as Mehldau sets out to display the wide range of musicality that lay underneath even such tart pop as the late 1960s' "Your Mother Should Know" and the earlier garage-rock rave up "I Saw Her Standing There."

It is a sweet package as Mehldau, who admittedly came to the Beatles via Billy Joel, Supertramp and the often unruly (and fussily indulgent) cacophony of prog-rock, is in full command of his mission. Highlighting all the romanticism ("Baby's In Black"), the Bach-ian, oddly tempered mergers of dark and light ("She Said, She Said") and triumphant balladry ("Golden Slumbers") in one infinitely pleasing performance.

* lyric quote from "Penny Lane" (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)

Track Listing

I Am the Walrus; Your Mother Should Know; I Saw Her Standing There; For No One; Baby’s in Black; She Said, She Said; Here, There and Everywhere; If I Needed Someone; Maxwell's Silver Hammer; Golden Slumbers; Life on Mars?.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays The Beatles | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records


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