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Brad Mehldau: Live in Marciac

Thomas Conrad reviews two-CD live set from pianist

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This set (two CDs, one DVD) contains a solo performance at the Marciac festival in France in 2006. The creative capacities of the most important jazz piano player of his generation herein receive their most comprehensive documentation to date.

The first three pieces present three distinct Brad Mehldau identities: composer, redesigner of standards and ballads player. “Storm” is pure chops and exhilaration, multiple lines of musical thought intersecting at reckless velocity, becoming thundering chords and clanging tremolos and then improbably becoming Cole Porter. Mehldau makes “It’s All Right With Me” into a riotous celebration. “Secret Love” is next, a sudden hush of lyrical contemplation.

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