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Brad Mehldau - Pure music

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If you are into jazz, you should know Brad .

I tent to see him as the pianist who can truly make anything and all sounds out there with great power and emotions.

Goes between his last crazy album

and to -

and great trio leader -

Here is a Beatles cover "Blackbird" I made as a jazz pianist myself

hope you'd like it ..

https://soundcloud.com/aviram-spies/blackbird-aviram-spies

*** I'm not saying I sound like him at all, just that I heard his cover and loved it and so had my own version.

I'm here to listen to you reviews ..

and here is some nice info about this awesome pianist -

Mehldau studied music at The New School, and toured and recorded while still a student. He was a member of saxophonist Joshua Redman's Quartet with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade in the mid-1990s, and has led his own trio since at least 1992. His first long-term trio featured bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy; in 2005 Jeff Ballard replaced Rossy. These bands have released a dozen albums under the pianist's name.

Since the early 2000s Mehldau has experimented with other musical formats in addition to trio and solo piano. Largo, released in 2002, contains electronics and input from rock and classical musicians; later examples include touring and recording with guitarist Pat Metheny, writing and playingsong cycles for classical singers Renée Fleming and Anne Sofie von Otter, composing orchestral pieces for 2009's Highway Rider, and playing electronic keyboard instruments in a duo with drummer Mark Guiliana.

Aspects of pop, rock, and classical music, including German Romanticism, have been absorbed into Mehldau's writing and playing. Through his use of some traditional elements of jazz without being restricted by them, simultaneous playing of different melodies in separate hands, and incorporation of pop and rock pieces, Mehldau has influenced musicians in and beyond jazz in their approaches to writing, playing, and choice of repertoire.

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Mehldau is one of those guys who i feel is both overrated by some and underrated by some. Of his recent stuff, I thought Ode (2013?) was a brilliant piano trio album. I also really enjoyed Highway Rider. The solo piano album (Live in Marciac?) was really disappointing for me.

Leading up to the release of the Mehliana album i was quite hopeful based on some of the live clips but when samples from the actual album became available i thought it sounded awful. I like the idea of a duo between a drummer and a piano player playing vintage synths so much, but the final product just sounded way too overproduced and 'yuck'.

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He's really nice on, of all things, the new Jimmy Cobb CD.

BTW, I don't like Mehliana either.

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I thought "Mehliana" was cool, though that opening track needs to be edited for radio. I still haven't heard the last two trio albums, but "Art of the Trio Volume 4: Back at the Vanguard" "Art of the Trio Vol. 5", "Live in Tokyo" (the 2 disc Japanese version which is the complete concert) the two albums with Metheny and "Trio Live" are among my fav. Mehldau. "Highway Rider" I need to pull out again, it's a very dense album with some terrific string writing. And he is great on that new Cobb in a more inside hard bop mode.

Edited by CJ Shearn

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Mehliana brings me to sleep quickly.

But he's made some good stuff!

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I guess it depends on whether or not you like that drum n bass/electronic sound. I like that general sound though I don't claim to have a deep knowledge of that genre. Some of the stuff in the ridiculously labeled "intelligent dance music" genre is really boring. I think only Aphex Twin and Squarepusher have done things I've heard that are intriguing for me.

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I've been surprised to hear some strong recordings by Mehldau; my general default on him is that he's not very original and has a bad attitude, but there was a double live disc from maybe 5-6 years ago that seemed quite strong, and I like him in the trio with Konitz and Haden.

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Mehldau has incredible technique, and his hand independence (ability to play what I think are fairly radically different things in each hand at the same time) is pretty amazing, and almost unmatched. My wife really loves his playing, so for a while there - I had nearly everything he'd ever recorded (or at least the trio and solo recordings) -- and still have 8 or 10 of his releases.

My interest comes and goes. Personally I've liked his trio work a LOT better with Jeff Ballard on drums (who replaced Jorge Rossy in 2005). I can't say for certain that Mehldau's own playing was changed by switching drummers, but Ballard often brings a lot more energy and drive to the up-tempo numbers - and I find his (Ballard's) playing a lot more imaginative, and maybe even more "Tony Williams"-like (in that every measure seems different, and new).

Mehldau's solo playing is also interesting, and I've heard him solo in concert too (just once) -- which is an entirely different experience than his solo work on records. In recordings (solo), he's much more classically inspired (it seems to me). But in concert (solo), he's way more "wall of sound" with extended use of the sustain pedal, and the room is filled with more sound than I would ever imagine from anyone (other than perhaps someone with a totally different approach, like Cecil Taylor). But definitely something that works better in person, than on record (that "wall of sound" thing would really fall flat for me anywhere other than in the concert hall itself).

Mehldau pushes a lot of the right buttons for me, but he certainly doesn't push all of them. I don't feel like he swings in what I think is any conventional sense (and often seems a bit stilted when he does sorta swing) -- but there is often a lot of great forward momentum to some of his music, that does 'swing' in its own sort of way.

I'd be really disappointed if every new pianist was trying to sound like Mehldau, but he does fill a nice niche that needs filling (and does so a better than most others ever could). And there are probably few other players who can do the two-handed contrapuntal thing as well as he does (though, for instance, Helen Sung can and does that with some of her music -- she has a very classically-trained background too, which is where I'm sure some of that comes from).

So, I'm a big fan of Mehldau, but can easily go months without needing to listen to any of his music. Agree with the "both overrated and underrated" observation earlier.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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I guess it depends on whether or not you like that drum n bass/electronic sound. I like that general sound though I don't claim to have a deep knowledge of that genre. Some of the stuff in the ridiculously labeled "intelligent dance music" genre is really boring. I think only Aphex Twin and Squarepusher have done things I've heard that are intriguing for me.

I like some d'n'b sound ... but I've heard much, much better instrumental/acoustic emulations than that - the beats are incredibly lame and Mehldau sounds totally out of ideas to me - and mind me, I quite enjoyed "Largo" when it first appeared, I'm a 90s kid of some sorts (though mostly I grew up in my own time I guess, after all how many middle-class european 13 year olds ask their aunts and uncles to get "Bags' Groove" and "Nippon Soul" for x-mas?). Just doesn't do it for me, no matter from what angle I try and approach it (though I've not heard the album, only some live recordings such as a concert from London captured by the Beeb).

Anyway, I think Mehldau is often a bit underrated/downplayed/sneered-at-too-much in circles such as this splendid forum ;)

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I thought "Mehliana" was cool, though that opening track needs to be edited for radio. I still haven't heard the last two trio albums, but "Art of the Trio Volume 4: Back at the Vanguard" "Art of the Trio Vol. 5", "Live in Tokyo" (the 2 disc Japanese version which is the complete concert) the two albums with Metheny and "Trio Live" are among my fav. Mehldau. "Highway Rider" I need to pull out again, it's a very dense album with some terrific string writing. And he is great on that new Cobb in a more inside hard bop mode.

Just wanted to say that it took me ages to click with the Metheny Mehldau albums. Expectations maybe, as i think i was expecting Art Of The Trio crossed with Bright Size Life, but no. Anyway, only recently re-bought Metheny Mehldau Quartet and have really dug it. Another lesson in the need to hold on to stuff rather than trade it unless it's absolutely necessary.

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I think that it'll take a while for people to truly appreciate Mehliana album.

It has a lot of depth in it and many different layers .

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I guess it depends on whether or not you like that drum n bass/electronic sound. I like that general sound though I don't claim to have a deep knowledge of that genre. Some of the stuff in the ridiculously labeled "intelligent dance music" genre is really boring. I think only Aphex Twin and Squarepusher have done things I've heard that are intriguing for me.

I like some d'n'b sound ... but I've heard much, much better instrumental/acoustic emulations than that - the beats are incredibly lame and Mehldau sounds totally out of ideas to me - and mind me, I quite enjoyed "Largo" when it first appeared, I'm a 90s kid of some sorts (though mostly I grew up in my own time I guess, after all how many middle-class european 13 year olds ask their aunts and uncles to get "Bags' Groove" and "Nippon Soul" for x-mas?). Just doesn't do it for me, no matter from what angle I try and approach it (though I've not heard the album, only some live recordings such as a concert from London captured by the Beeb).

Anyway, I think Mehldau is often a bit underrated/downplayed/sneered-at-too-much in circles such as this splendid forum ;)

I am a 90's kid also and that wasn't strange for a 13 year old to ask for that stuff because I was asking for stuff like that too. I think I got the old Trane Prestige Recordings big box when I was 14 for Christmas :) I believe Mehldau is underrated here also, and I spun a bit of "Highway Rider" the other night, the writing is wonderful. Been listening to Mark Giuliana's new album of Rhapsody, (he has two) it will take a bit to for it to settle in with me, but it is working for what it is.

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