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Jazz - Released February 21, 2011 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - The Qobuz Standard
Brad Mehldau's latest solo recording, the two-CD/single-DVD Live in Marciac begins with two tracks that contrast his astonishing technical facility and his considerable inventive gift for empathic interpretation. The opening "Storm" is an original four-minute exercise in furious counterpoint, expansive layered harmony, and swinging ostinato; it's followed by a complex yet utterly inventive lyrical reading of Cole Porter's "It's All Right with Me" that not only underscores the lyric in its full harmonic voice, but expands upon it with low- and middle-register arpegiattic studies from Bach and Brahms without losing site of the tune. These are but two of the many surprises on this recorded in 2006. Mehldau ranges over his catalog to revisit his own compositions -- including three from his celebrated first solo piano album Elegiac Cycle -- "Resignation," "Trailer Park Ghost," and "Goodbye Storyteller." These new readings offer an aural view of how much more is in those songs as he's investigated them over the years. Among the performances here are healthy examples of Mehldau's love of rock and modern pop music, including Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)," which closes disc one. Disc two kicks off with another contrasting study, this one music from two musicians who died at their own hands: a thoroughly imaginative reading of Nick Drake's "Things Behind the Sun" (that appeared first on the Live in Tokyo album) followed by its mirror image, Kurt Cobain's "Lithium," using the same percussive left-hand patterns with inverted changes and syncopated lyric accents (they appear as a medley on the DVD). Mehldau also delivers a lovely reading of Lennon & McCartney's "Martha My Dear," where he juxtaposes its sweet melody against a slightly angular, dissonant set of changes. The set closes with a deeply moving imaginative "My Favorite Things," followed by a funky, slamming take on Bobby Timmons' "Dat Dere" (which is missing from the DVD for some reason). For Mehldau's fans, this is another opportunity to hear just how creative and versatile he is, even with familiar material. For the uninitiated, this is a grand opportunity to acquaint yourself with one of the most gifted jazz pianists on the scene. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released September 26, 1995 | Warner Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Unusual Suspects - The Qobuz Standard
Pianist Brad Mehldau's debut as a leader features his straight-ahead style in trios with either Larry Grenadier or Christian McBride on bass and Jorge Rossy or Brian Blade on drums. The well-rounded set is highlighted by tasteful and swinging versions of five standards (including John Coltrane's "Countdown," "It Might As Well Be Spring," and "From This Moment On") and four of the pianist's originals. This CD (which is sometimes available at a budget price) serves as a fine start to what should be a productive career. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released June 3, 2016 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
Brad Mehldau's warm, utterly enveloping effort, 2016's Blues and Ballads, finds the pianist leading his trio through a set of well-curated standards and covers. The album follows up his genre-bending 2014 collaboration with electronic musician Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, and smartly showcases his return to intimate acoustic jazz. Admittedly, the title, Blues and Ballads, is somewhat misleading, as Mehldau only tackles one actual blues with his jaunty, off-kilter take on Charlie Parker's "Cheryl." Otherwise, the blues of the title is implied more in the earthy lyricism of a handful of ballads. An influential figure in the jazz world since the late '90s, Mehldau has subtly transformed not only the way modern jazz is played, but also the repertoire from which musicians draw inspiration. He was one of the first jazz artists to rework modern alt-rock songs by the likes of Radiohead and Nirvana, imbuing them with a delicacy and harmonic nuance that both celebrated the original recordings and recontextualized them within the jazz canon. While the song choices on Blues and Ballads are by no means as adventurously maverick as that, they are well chosen and make for supple listening. Here, Mehldau and his longtime bandmates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard dig into thoughtfully selected compositions like the Beatles' "And I Love Her," transfiguring the minor/major-key centers into something sweeping and operatic. Similarly, cuts like "I Concentrate on You" and "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" feel both well-considered and off the cuff, as if Mehldau and his trio simply decided to start playing during the afterglow of a jovial dinner party. Surprisingly, it's Jon Brion, who produced Mehldau's 2002 album Largo, who offers the pianist one of the album's most poignant moments with his original ballad, "Little Person." Based around a deftly simple melody, in Mehldau's sympathetic hands the song is the musical equivalent of a child's tears. While Blues and Ballads is by no means Mehldau's most ambitious album, it's nonetheless a work of expansive emotionality and deeply hued beauty. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz contemporain - Released September 14, 2012 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released March 17, 2005 | Fresh Sound Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc Jazzman
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Jazz contemporain - Released May 17, 2019 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
It would not be fair to say that Brad Mehldau rests only on his laurels and sticks to what he knows. With Finding Gabriel, the American pianist delivers an ambitious and multifaceted record that blows open the conventions of jazz. Mehldau had previously co-released a very special album with drummer Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon in 2014, long before this more compact 2019 release. Above all, Finding Gabriel is the product of the pianists’ intense study of the Bible (it is the angel Gabriel’s name that is referenced in the title…). “I built up many of the tracks beginning with synths and Mark Guiliana on drums, in a process similar to our previous collaboration, Taming the Dragon. Layers were added, and the human voice became an important element—not with text, but as a pure expression of harmony and emotion.” From the offset, the record is an immediate shock. The result is a mystical and fascinating fusion of ideas. Behind his piano are the synths of engineers Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim Ob-6, his Fender Rhodes, percussion parts and, for the first time, a microphone. Mehldau unfolds a symphony of wind instruments, strings and electronica while dabbling in jazz fusion (one sometimes thinks of Metheny Group or Weather Report) in which the human voice takes on an essential role. The American pianist is however not the only one to sing on this record as singers Kurt Elling, Becca Stevens and Gabriel Kahane are all invited to join. Finally, in terms of guests, the record is joined by the violinist Sara Caswell, the trumpetist Ambrose Akinmusire, the saxophonists Joel Frahm, Charles Pillow and Christ Cheek and the flutist Michel Thomas. From start to finish, Brad Mehldau’s Finding Gabriel is a unique and spiritual odyssey that differs very much from his other piano trios. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released March 9, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Without being a mandatory baptism of fire, Jean-Sébastien Bach has always been a captivating magnet for many jazz musicians. So much so that people like Jacques Loussier, Keith Jarrett, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dan Tepfer or Edouard Ferlet to name but a handful, all tackled head on, and for good reason, the work of the Cantor of Leipzig . The choice made by Brad Mehldau is a hybrid. The American pianist does not create here a jazz album strictly speaking - fans of "Jazzy Bach" can go home straight away - but he mixes themes of Bach - four preludes and a fugue - to personal and contemporary pieces; as intriguing answers or mirror games to original works. The exercise is all the more interesting because part of Bach's work took the form of improvisation. As for Mehldau, his style, but also his compositions, have always contained elements echoing the German composer. We know the rhythmic force of Bach's writing that appeals to jazz musicians. But here, the pianist has thought through his record in its entirety, never trying to separate his works from that of the other. The result is therefore confusing at first (especially for those familiar with the preludes and fugues of the original) but fascinating above all else. Because After Bach is anything but an impressive show of class (Brad Mehldau does not need that much, his virtuosity as a great no longer needs to be proven) but rather an exciting reflection on the life of a score through the centuries. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 18, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
With his faithful acolytes Jeff Ballard on the drums and Larry Grenadier on the double bass, Brad Mehldau intertwines three new compositions with covers of pop (Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson), jazz (Elmo Hope, Sam Rivers) and Great American Songbook (Almost Like Being In Love) classics. Without disrupting this great formation’s values, Seymour Reads The Constitution! once again highlights the strong complicity between the three protagonists always inspired in their improvisations and exchanges. They already peaked with their 2016 release Blues And Ballads, but this 2018 opus is even more intoxicating with the piano maestro displaying an incredible versatility and ringing a thousand colours. We already knew the American virtuoso could play anything. But with Seymour Reads The Constitution!, Mehldau keeps the listener off balance at all times, drops countless references, wanders around the history of piano jazz, and always finds the right note, the perfect chord to create the most endearing, touching and astounding music. In his already extensive discography (though not on par with Keith Jarrett’s, one of his great influences), this album will, when push comes to shove, undeniably occupy a most prominent place… © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 16, 2015 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released September 5, 2000 | Warner Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released February 24, 2004 | Nonesuch

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Ode

Jazz contemporain - Released March 9, 2012 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released June 3, 2016 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz contemporain - Released September 15, 1998 | Warner Jazz

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Jazz contemporain - Released February 22, 2010 | Nonesuch

The Highway Rider is pianist and composer Brad Mehldau's second collaboration with enigmatic pop producer Jon Brion. The first was 2002's ambitious but tentative Largo. As a collaboration, The Highway Rider is much more confident by contrast. Mehldau’s most ambitious work to date, its 15 compositions are spread over two discs and 100 minutes. His trio --bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard -- is augmented by saxophonist Joshua Redman, drummer Matt Chamberlain, and a chamber orchestra conducted by Dan Coleman. The album is a narrative jazz suite, orchestrated and arranged by Mehldau, though it has much in common with classical and pop music, as well. The group settings range from solo to quintet, with and without strings, all of it recorded live in studio. Redman's addition is welcome. “Don’t Be Sad” features his consoling tenor, Mehldau (on pump organ and piano), Grenadier, and both drummers with orchestra. It begins as a piano solo, languidly establishing a pace that begins to swing with gospel overtones. Later, Redman's lower-register blowing, strings, and winds carry it out joyfully. Brion adds drum‘n’bass overtones to the trio on the title track. The electronics are a narrative device designating motion; they accompany the gradually assertive knottiness in the post-bop lyric. Mehldau begins “The Falcon Will Fly Again” with a complex solo that touches on Latin grooves, even as Chamberlain and Ballard create an organic loop effect with hand percussion. Redman's soprano creates a contrapuntal melody extending the harmonic dialogue. Disc two’s lengthy “We’ll Cross the River Together” has quintet and orchestra engaging in a beautiful study of texture, color, and expansive harmonics with wildly divergent dynamics. It showcases Mehldau’s trademark pianistic elegance in counterpoint. Redman's deep blues tenor nearly weeps on “Sky Turning Grey (For Elliot Smith).” “Capriccio’'s Latin rhythms contrast ideally: Mehldau’s classical, gently dissonant motifs create an exploratory harmonic palette as Redman’s magnetic soprano playing joins Mehldau's in the last third, anchoring the complex melody. The closer, “Always Returning,” builds to a climax that incorporates themes from the cycle. Redman and Mehldau soar with the orchestra before they all close it in a whispering tone poem. By combining sophisticated -- yet accessible -- forms with jazz improvisation, The Highway Rider exceeds all expectations, giving jazz-classical crossover a good name for a change. It is Mehldau’s most ambitious, creatively unfettered, and deeply emotional work to date, and will stand as a high watermark in his catalog. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz contemporain - Released January 1, 1970 | Warner Jazz

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Bandes originales de films - Released October 28, 2019 | My Melody

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Jazz - Released August 13, 2002 | Nonesuch

In the most enigmatic project up to this point in his career, Brad Mehldau explores conflicting aesthetics, sometimes in tracks positioned next to each other, and occasionally within the confines of a single performance. A spare simplicity governs much of the album, emphasized by almost puritanical horn arrangements -- long notes, mournful triadic chords. After acknowledging these episodes with childlike figurations on the piano, Mehldau then builds his solos along more dissonant lines, which invariably end up enhancing the mood. But then there are tracks like "Dropjes," whose electronic effects gnash angrily at the piano, or "Free Willy," on which putty attached to the instrument's low strings allows Mehldau to unleash a feral improvisation, with lines that suggest scurrying rodents more than bebop blowing. Producer Jon Brion stimulated much of this adventurism, at times diving directly into the mix with his guitar synth or Chamberlin keyboard. But what intrigues most about Largo in the end is the perspective it offers on Mehldau, whose playing here is, as always, intelligent, perhaps a bit cerebral, and now open as well to sonic exotica. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk
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Jazz - Released March 21, 2008 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released May 18, 2018 | Nonesuch

With his faithful acolytes Jeff Ballard on the drums and Larry Grenadier on the double bass, Brad Mehldau intertwines three new compositions with covers of pop (Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson), jazz (Elmo Hope, Sam Rivers) and Great American Songbook (Almost Like Being In Love) classics. Without disrupting this great formation’s values, Seymour Reads The Constitution! once again highlights the strong complicity between the three protagonists always inspired in their improvisations and exchanges. They already peaked with their 2016 release Blues And Ballads, but this 2018 opus is even more intoxicating with the piano maestro displaying an incredible versatility and ringing a thousand colours. We already knew the American virtuoso could play anything. But with Seymour Reads The Constitution!, Mehldau keeps the listener off balance at all times, drops countless references, wanders around the history of piano jazz, and always finds the right note, the perfect chord to create the most endearing, touching and astounding music. In his already extensive discography (though not on par with Keith Jarrett’s, one of his great influences), this album will, when push comes to shove, undeniably occupy a most prominent place… © Max Dembo/Qobuz

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Brad Mehldau in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Minute #2
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