Saturday, 21 May 2011

Brad Mehldau - live in Marciac

As a jazz pianist Brad Mehldau has always been at his best in two formats: as a solo player and classical piano-bass-drums trio. Later in 2011, Nonesuch reissue plans its grand Art of the Trio recordings as a six disc box. During this time, the Live in Marciac, Brad Mehldau is heard playing alone before an enthusiastic audience at the 2006 August festival of Jazz in Marciac - his first solo album since the 2004 Tokyo Live.

Live in Marciac consists of two CDs and a DVD, in total more than 100 minutes of music. Remarkably, the length of virtuosity and excitement levels dip never. After repeated auditions, music seems to be as fresh as ever. Typically for Brad Mehldau, the directory is a mixture of original compositions and an eclectic selection of songs.

Alongside standards by Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein are songs by Brad Mehldau favorite Radiohead, Nick Drake and the Beatles. More astonishing is the inclusion of lilac wine James Shelton - popularized by Jeff Buckley - and Lithium of Nirvana. Although classically trained, Brad Mehldau clearly listens widely and is a pie for a catchy melody.

Despite this diversity, the album is a general feeling of unity. Without excessive length, Brad Mehldau explores each legally, maliciously room playing a melody, and sometimes investigate side aisles. As is his habit, he revisits the pieces, which he has explored before; for example, it is the third version of the music of Radiohead (for a Film) output. Brad Mehldau is constantly playing, never again, with both hands around the whole keyboard. His music is so rich that it is sometimes possible to believe that two players are at work.

The DVD is the first ever of Brad Mehldau in concert. He is seen performing all but keeps track of the album. Be able to watch hands of Brad Mehldau, fingers, facial expressions, concentration, effort and sweat improves the listening experience, providing a same intimacy denied to members of the audience. The DVD also offers the opportunity to see a transcript of resignation scrolling while Brad Mehldau plays, which makes the cherry on top of an already excellent album.

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