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Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau: Counterpoint

Brad Mehldau/Pat Metheny
Brad Mehldau/Pat Metheny
Brad Mehldau/Pat Metheny

If you’ve ever hung out backstage at a jazz festival, you know that jazz musicians are always telling one another, “We should get together sometime and play.” It’s a friendly gesture, and it’s usually tied to a vague feeling that, hey, it would be nice to make a record or do some shows with that person. Only rarely, though, does it lead to anything concrete.

Pat Metheny has often heard and said the same thing, but when the guitarist exchanged that wish with Brad Mehldau, he knew it needed to actually happen. It wasn’t just that he admired the young pianist’s playing-Metheny admires many musicians that he’ll never get around to collaborating with. It was more that he sensed that he and Mehldau were wrestling with the same problems and could help each other come up with some solutions.

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Originally Published

Geoffrey Himes

Geoffrey Himes has written about jazz and other genres of music on a regular basis for the Washington Post since 1977 and has also written for JazzTimes, Paste, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, National Public Radio, and others. His book on Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A., was published by Continuum Books in 2005 and he’s currently working on a major book for the Country Music Hall of Fame. He has been honored for Music Feature Writing by the Deems Taylor/ASCAP Awards (2003, 2005, 2014 and 2015), the New Orleans Press Awards, the Abell Foundation Awards and the Music Journalism Awards.