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Brad Mehldau: Finding Gabriel (Nonesuch)

In the beginning, Brad Mehldau plays a simple synthesizer melody, ringing with felicity and melancholy, like church bells celebrating simultaneous marital and funereal rites. Over the next seven minutes the song builds as instruments and voices join the repeated phrase until the music crescendos into glorious, frantic chaos. “The Garden,” the first track on the … Read More “Brad Mehldau: Finding Gabriel (Nonesuch)”

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Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Weekend 1

One way to define a music festival: the sum of its memorable moments. There were plenty of those moments to savor during the first four days of the 40th annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which kicked off in late June on 20 stages in the city’s downtown Quartier des Spectacles.   Which highlights … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Weekend 1”

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Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau: Long Ago and Far Away (Impulse!)

It starts with a few irreverent tickles. Just three minutes into Bird’s “Au Privave,” Brad Mehldau gives his muse the green light, messes around with a spray of notes, and we’re off into a chatty conversation where blithe trills are grounded by buoyant thumps—meaning informality has just as much bearing on this entertaining exchange as … Read More “Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau: Long Ago and Far Away (Impulse!)”

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Brad Mehldau Trio: Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch)

You can’t help but marvel at Brad Mehldau’s ability to think in two speeds at the same time. While his left hand frequently holds down an assortment of tricky odd-metered riffs (which he demonstrates a particular fondness for on “Spiral” and “Ten Tune,” two of the three original compositions here), his right hand counters with … Read More “Brad Mehldau Trio: Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch)”

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Brad Mehldau: After Bach (Nonesuch)

To play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach well, a knack for sonic alchemy is required. One must be able to make swirling waves of chordal density—the original sheets of sound—feel both propulsive and calm, a deep grounding that’s simultaneously an invitation to travel the world. On this disc, Brad Mehldau gives himself further challenges: … Read More “Brad Mehldau: After Bach (Nonesuch)”

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Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch)

Coming from most artists, an album like Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau would be considered a side project. But Thile, the virtuosic mandolin player/leader of super string band Punch Brothers, and pianist Mehldau, whose solo and trio efforts rank high in the jazz firmament, have departed their home bases so often—frequently in pursuit of heady … Read More “Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch)”

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