Live in Marciac


Brad Mehldau’s restlessness is as much a force of nature as his musicianship, so it comes as no great shock that the master jazz pianist follows last year’s double-disc quintet recording Highway Rider with another double album (plus DVD), this time solo. Mehldau is an explorer, in his compositions, his playing and—to the delight of his loyal flock—his eclectic choice of cover material. The music he interpreted for this French festival is no exception: Whether Radiohead or the Beatles, Cole Porter or Nirvana, Mehldau treats a melody as raw material to be deconstructed and pieced back together in often unexpected ways. Nick Drake’s “Things Behind the Sun” is given a frisky reading almost Baroque in its regality. That’s not to negate the power of his own writing, however; from introspective opener “Storm” to the hypnotic “Resignation,” Mehldau reasserts himself as one of contemporary jazz’s most consistently creative practitioners. –JT

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