Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Record label: Nonesuch
Genre(s): Jazz, Pop/Rock, Piano Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Post-Bop, Progressive Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Third Stream
Brad Mehldau once used an album’s liner notes to ponder how the similarities that critics have drawn between him and Bill Evans were a little on the uninformed side. You can’t really blame his defensiveness since it seems awfully narrow-minded to single him out as a Bill Evans wannabe simply because he’s a jazz pianist who happened to record more than one live album at the Village Vanguard with his trio. To more discerning ears, Mehldau has become something of a Keith Jarrett for the X generation.
Not only has Brad Mehldau given sustenance to his more traditionally jazz-rooted fans with this live solo-piano album (after an eclectic 2010 that saw the classical-strings collaboration Highway Rider and the Love Songs duet with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter), he's countered the objection that he can be too preciously ruminative as well. The American star charges through this 100-minutes-plus gig with such an emphasis on repeat notes, brusque segues and thundering counterpoint that its feverish density gets close to overpowering at times. But Mehldau's quirky covers are as compelling as ever, particularly in the mix of darting low-end melody and lilting passages on Nick Drake's Things Behind the Sun, the countermelodic proddings accelerating to eager boogying on Kurt Cobain's Lithium, a gentle celebration of My Favourite Things and a joyously, catchily jazzy account of the Bobby Timmons classic Dat Dere.
Music so rich that it’s possible to believe two players are at work. John Eyles 2011 As a jazz pianist, Brad Mehldau has always been at his best in two formats: the classic piano-bass-drums trio and as a solo player. Later in 2011, Nonesuch plans to re-issue his great The Art of the Trio recordings as a six-disc box set. Meanwhile, on Live in Marciac, Mehldau is heard playing alone before an enthusiastic audience at the August 2006 Marciac Jazz festival – his first solo release since 2004’s Live in Tokyo.