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Brad Mehldau

During the '90s and into the 2000s, Brad Mehldau was one among a plethora of young jazz pianists who rose to prominence. He is one of the more absorbing and thoughtful practitioners within that idiom, and he is receptive to the idea of using material from the rock era (Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," for example). Though Mehldau's training is primarily classical, his interest in jazz began early. He played in the Hall High School jazz band in Hartford, Connecticut, winning the Berklee College of Music's Best All-Around Musician Award while still in his junior year of high school. He studied jazz at New York's New School for Social Research under Fred Hersch, Junior Mance, Kenny Werner, and Jimmy Cobb. Cobb soon hired him to play in his band, Cobb's Mob, and Mehldau also played and recorded with the Joshua Redman Quartet before forming his own trio in 1994 and recording his first Warner Bros. album, Introducing Brad Mehldau, in 1995. Art of the Trio, Vol. 1 followed in 1997, with the next two volumes in the series appearing over the following months. Two years later, Mehldau returned with Elegiac Cycle, as well as Art of the Trio, Vol. 4: Back at the Vanguard. Places followed in 2000, consisting of all-original compositions focusing on various cities, hence the title of the album.

Another Art of the Trio album came out in 2001, but the most significant release was Largo, which recorded Mehldau performing with other groups outside of his usual trio format. This was a big change from his previous work, and offered new challenges as he adapted to several interesting lineup situations. Mehldau followed the genre-bending album with the standards-based Anything Goes and Live in Tokyo in 2004, with Day Is Done arriving the following year. In 2006, he released House on Hill as well as Love Sublime, the latter with soprano vocalist Renée Fleming on Nonesuch Records. Mehldau chose to work with his trio plus Pat Metheny on Quartet in 2007; he followed it up with the double-disc Live in 2008, which was recorded with his trio at the Village Vanguard.

In 2010, Mehldau emerged with the ambitious Highway Rider, a double-disc of 15 new compositions produced by Jon Brion. He employed his trio as well as drummer Matt Chamberlain, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and a small chamber orchestra led by Dan Coleman. Mehldau arranged and orchestrated all the music. Also in 2010, Mehldau was honored by Carnegie Hall when he was named the first jazz artist to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for the 2010-2011 season. In 2011, Mehldau appeared on two live albums, his own Live in Marciac and the ECM date Live at Birdland (recorded in 2009) with saxophonist Lee Konitz, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian. In September of that year, Nonesuch also released a studio album, Modern Music, a collaboration between Mehldau, pianist Kevin Hays, and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli. The music on this set was comprised of tunes by each of the principals, as well as compositions by Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.

On December 6, 2011, while Mehldau was at the beginning of a world tour, Nonesuch issued a box set entitled Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001. The set includes the five Art of the Trio albums -- the last a double-disc -- that were originally issued on Warner Bros. The box also included a seventh disc of previously unreleased material from shows at the Village Vanguard in 1997, 1999, and 2001. A year later, Mehldau's Trio released two studio albums with the all-original Ode, and the companion collection of cover songs, Where Do You Start. The pianist then joined drummer/electronicist Mark Guiliana for the duo's collaborative 2014 effort Mehliana: Taming the Dragon.

The box set 10 Years Solo Live appeared in 2015 and featured solo performances Mehldau had given in Europe in the preceding decade. He then returned to his tried-and-tested trio of Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard for Blues and Ballads, an album that featured their meticulous collective touch on compositions by Cole Porter, Charlie Parker, Lennon/McCartney, and others. ~ Richard S. Ginell & Thom Jurek
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Where Do You Start

1. Got Me Wrong

2. Holland

3. Brownie Speaks

4. Baby Plays Around

5. Airegin

6. Hey Joe

7. Samba E Amor

9. Time Has Told Me

10. Aquelas Coisas Todas

x

Track List: Live In Marciac

Disc 1

1. Storm (Live)

2. It's All Right With Me (Live)

3. Secret Love (Live)

4. Unrequited (Live)

5. Resignation (Live)

6. Trailer Park Ghost (Live)

7. Goodbye Storyteller (For Fred Myrow) (Live)

8. Exit Music (For A Film) (Live)

Disc 2

1. Things Behind The Sun (Live)

2. Lithium (Live)

3. Lilac Wine (Live)

4. Martha My Dear (Live)

5. My Favorite Things (Live)

6. Dat Dere (Live)

Disc 3
x

Track List: Highway Rider

Disc 1

1. John Boy

2. Don't Be Sad

3. At The Tollbooth

4. Highway Rider

5. The Falcon Will Fly Again

6. Now You Must Climb Alone

7. Walking The Peak

Disc 2

1. We'll Cross The River Together

2. Capriccio

3. Sky Turning Grey (For Elliott Smith)

4. Into The City

5. Old West

6. Come With Me

7. Always Departing

8. Always Returning

x

Track List: House On Hill

1. August Ending

2. House On Hill

3. Bealtine

4. Boomer

5. Backyard

6. Fear And Trembling

7. Embers

8. Happy Tune

9. Waiting For Eden

x

Track List: Day Is Done

1. Knives Out

2. Alfie

3. Martha My Dear

4. Day Is Done

5. Artis

6. Turtle Town

7. She's Leaving Home

8. Granada

9. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

10. No Moon At All

x

Track List: Live In Tokyo

1. Things Behind The Sun (Live)

2. Intro (Live)

3. Someone To Watch Over Me (Live)

4. From This Moment On (Live)

5. Monk's Dream (Live)

6. Paranoid Android (Live)

7. How Long Has This Been Going On? (Live)

8. River Man (Live)

x

Track List: Anything Goes

1. Get Happy

2. Dreamsville

3. Anything Goes

4. Tres Palabras

5. Skippy

6. Nearness Of You

7. Still Crazy After All These Years

8. Everything In Its Right Place

9. Smile

10. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face

x

Track List: Largo

1. When It Rains

2. You're Vibing Me

3. Dusty McNugget

4. Dropjes

5. Paranoid Android

6. Franklin Avenue

7. Sabbath

8. Dear Prudence

9. Free Willy

10. Alvarado

11. Wave / Mother Nature's Son

12. I Do

x

Track List: Progression: Art Of The Trio, Vol. 5

Disc 1

1. The More I See You (Live)

2. Dream's Monk (Live)

3. The Folks Who Live On The Hill

4. Alone Together

5. It Might As Well Be Spring

6. Cry Me A River

7. River Man

Disc 2

1. Quit (Live)

2. Secret Love

3. Sublation

4. Resignation

5. Long Ago And Far Away (Live)

6. How Long Has This Been Going On?

x

Track List: Places

1. Los Angeles

2. 29 Palms

3. Madrid

4. Amsterdam

5. Los Angeles II

6. West Hartford

7. Airport Sadness

8. Perugia

9. A Walk In The Park

10. Paris

11. Schloss Elmau

12. Am Zauberberg

13. Los Angeles (Reprise)

x

Track List: Art Of The Trio 4: Back At The Vanguard (Live)

1. All The Things That You Are (Live)

2. Sehnsucht (Live)

3. Nice Pass (Live)

4. Solar (Live)

5. London Blues (Live)

6. I'll Be Seeing You (Live)

7. Exit Music (For A Film) (Live)

x

Track List: Elegiac Cycle

1. Bard

2. Resignation

3. Memory's Tricks

4. Elegy For William Burroughs And Allen Ginsberg

5. Lament For Linus

6. Trailer Park Ghost

7. Goodbye Storyteller (For Fred Myrow)

8. Ruckblick

9. The Bard Returns

x

Track List: The Art Of The Trio: Volume 3

1. Song-Song

2. Unrequited

3. Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered

4. Exit Music (For A Film)

5. At A Loss

6. Convalescent

7. For All We Know

8. River Man

9. Young At Heart

10. Sehnsucht

x

Track List: The Art Of The Trio, Vol. 2 (Live At The Village Vanguard)

1. It's Alright With Me (live)

2. Young And Foolish

3. Monk's Dream (Live)

4. The Way You Look Tonight (Live)

5. Moon River (live)

6. Countdown (Live)

x

Track List: The Art Of The Trio, Vol. 1

1. Blame It On My Youth

2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was

3. Ron's Place

4. Blackbird

5. Lament For Linus

6. Mignon's Song

7. I Fall In Love Too Easily

8. Lucid

9. Nobody Else But Me

x

Track List: Introducing Brad Mehldau

1. It Might As Well Be Spring

2. Countdown

3. My Romance

4. Angst

5. Young Werther

6. Prelude To A Kiss

7. London Blues

8. From This Moment On

9. Say Goodbye

x

Track List: Hungry Ghost (Single)

Comments

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Nice to be young and dig Jazz
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Beautiful!!!
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garyndianf
You know how to float my spirit
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Anybody who hangs with Pat metheny is a friend of mine
Especially when they bust out great music like this please bring it baby
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zendood
Brilliant... . . t r a d i t i o n a l meets modern jazz perfectly.
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Beautiful music...... Tres Palabras.... . t h r e e words, I wonder what they were.....
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Just listened to the tune West Hartford from Places.. Does anyone know the significance of West Hartford? I ask because I know there's a great music school called the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford
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Beautiful and so supremely skilled. No wonder Jimmy Cobb hired him
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Genius. Thanks, Brad and friends.
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Great so so mellow love those keys
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edwards.elij a h 2 0 1 2
Amazing
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jebjas
For me, Brad keeps the traditional jazz ideology, yet sounds modern and forward thinking and composing. I love the newer duet stuff with Matt Guiliana on drums/percus s i o n . Perfect example of modern jazz with traditional respect. I still lean toward the trad trio jazz combo. The interplay is easy to hear and just puts me in that place.
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kidwell18
My musical taste gravitates toward guitarists (for a variety of reasons not really germane to this thread), but Brad's compositions , improvisatio n s and delightful playing captures that same organic "feel" that is perceived through hearing and emotional reaction to the thoughtful guitar virtuoso. Brilliant.
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jazzdadman
he leaves no note untouched when he plays, always a pleasure listening to him!!!!
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Good God! How can s sour be so sweet. Brad seems to have found chords, notes that are akin to having found a whole number between 6 and 7. It hardly seems possible, but after hearing it, it seems its been there all along! I need some wine...... then, more Brad
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This good fella got me thru grad school! One of the great pianists ive had the pleasure of listening to
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jazzdadman
THIS truly is a BAD MAN!!!!!!!!! ! ! i get totally immersed in his art truly great for ones ears..... soul.... sensibilites . ! ! > > > >
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Black. Hole. Sun. (. Live. )
by. Brad. Mehldau
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Brad you do it for me. I owe you, but for now thank you
Adenika
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Mr Brad. Mehldau (. Time has told me ).
by. Mr brad Mehldau
On Where. Do you. Start
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All of your great jazz pianists have their own unique sound. He is definitely NOT a reincarnatio n of Bill Evans. A well trained ear can identify each jazz musicians 'signature' and uniqueness just by listening to several measures of their music. Brad is definitely a genius in his own style and method of playing.
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Thanks to Pandora I am being introduced to artists like Brad without leaving my home.
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Never heard Brad along these lines great change..
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brackinrealt y , it's like abstract art. If you have to explain it - you're not going to get it. Just relax and listen. You'll get it.
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first time i ever heard him was here on Pandora..wow . . . h e is brilliant!
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I clearly hear elements of Keith Jarrett (Koln), with subtle emotion and lift. Lovely to listen to while watching the passing clouds over the northern Berkshire hills.
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brackinrealt y
DaddyCarl
I have many of Brad's recording's which I love. But this, I just don't understand. I play piano and know a little bit about music, but this - I don't get! Educate me as to what your are hearing so I can enjoy it too!
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brian.sulliv a n 1 9
I bet their version of Blackbird is better than yours
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sacredfun6
This is nice. On Talking Heads Radio!?
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sevag31
a Bill Evans reincarnatio n . GOOD
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Brad Mehldau is a great talent and a pleasure to keep on listening to.
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Brad Mehldau just keeps getting better! WOW!!
Report as inappropriate
Brad so clearly influenced by Bill Evans. But don't ever say that to his face. He rants on one of his album's liner notes about how he hates that comparison. But I've never heard him say exactly why he's so offended by the comparison. Anybody know?
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Using my-ladies Pandora but had to say i went to high school with this cat...played drums with him at hall he's a genius at the keys and pure aural pleasure
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I don't want to be too critical, but he doesn't do much for me. I so much prefer Bill Evans, but I admire that he's chosen to play this music and welcome his popularity.
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If you like Brad solo, you'll like him even more when you listen to Brad and Pat Metheny on their album, Quartet. Truly wonderful to hear them play together.
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His version of Black Bird - A M A Z I N G. Goosebumps.. .
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slong7
He plays to your soul and nothing less. No ego. Just plays from his soul to yours. He is the modern day Coltrane of the piano and nothing remotely less.
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ANOTHER GOOD ARTIST I DISCOVERED ON YOUR WONDERFUL STATION
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Bracingly fresh, ..... like freshly pressed juice. Never hoird anything like it. (Cee Rex)
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mdavidso224
Fanntastic!! I sat with with Ahmad Jamal in Pittsburgh's Hill District and have not had the musical voltage that high since--until now.
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penguinhead1 7
Love 'House on Hill!!! Awesome cd.
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A very sophisticate d , thoughtful style. Beautiful chord formations and not insanely technical. One of my real favorites.
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I love it!
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NICE MUSIC/ KIND OF LIKE KEITH JARRET
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folger369
I can see by Joseph's capital letters that he does have a high stress job! Glad Mehldau chills you out. He is another pianist whose music both moves on a gut, internal level, very deeply, yet also soothes. Great combination.
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Mehldau's music is wonderful. While he sounds influenced by Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett he has his own style molded from a very inventive left hand
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annemariesu
yes.
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hawkman0423
Great rendention of a classic. Need more like this!!!!
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THIS IS THE KIND OF MUSIC THAT LOWERS MY BLOOD PRESSURE! I SHOULD KNOW AS I'M A PROPERTY CLAIMS ADJUSTER DEALING WITH HURRICANE CLAIMS, SO THIS REALLY HELPS ! THANKS FOR THE INTRO PANDORA TO BRAD !
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