Broad Notes 

Brad Mehldau finds common ground between diverse artists and musical styles.

Pianist Brad Mehldau, one of the most creative and commercially viable forces in contemporary jazz music, will return to Tucson for an intimate solo gig on Thursday, Feb. 27. The Tucson Jazz Society will present the show in the Tucson Convention Center's Leo Rich Theatre.

Mehldau's elegant, fascinating style provides the missing link that connects the jagged melodies of Thelonious Monk with the gentle lyricism of Bill Evans, while adding the influences of timeless pop and rock. He is also influenced greatly by the pensive compositions of such classicists as Brahms, Chopin and Satie.

Finding commonalities among disparate artists, he covers the Beatles, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Radiohead. He writes original avant-garde jazz material and experiments with drum and bass rhythms. All of the above is on display on Mehldau's latest album, the masterly Largo (Warner Bros., 2002).

Born in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1970, Mehldau was classically trained as a child and raised under the influence of pop, jazz and rock. He studied at the Berklee School of Music and at the New School of Social Research, and he apprenticed with Jimmy Cobb in his band, Cobb's Mob.

In 1994, Mehldau played on the European tour of tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman's quartet, which also featured bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. That tour marked Mehldau's official coming out into the jazz world. The next year, he saw the release of his debut album, Introducing Brad Mehldau.

Although Mehldau has well established his Brad Mehldau Trio (with partners bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy) on the jazz circuit, his gig here is a rare solo piano performance.

Mehldau has made nine albums as a leader, four of which were under his name alone, although only Elegaic Cycle, from 1999, was purely a work for solo piano.

Five of Mehldau's discs were part of his The Art of the Trio series, which has documented the preternatural communication of his collaborations with Grenadier and Rossy. Mehldau also recorded 1997's Alone Together, an amazing, knotty live set with legendary talents and ardent supporters Lee Konitz (saxophone) and Charlie Haden (bass).

Brad Mehldau will appear at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Leo Rich Theatre at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets will be available at the door for $16 for the general public. Members of the Tucson Jazz Society get in for $12. Call 903-1265.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • ¡Viva La Tradición!

    Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano are keeping this hertiage genre alive, even if the kids prefer narco corridos
    • Dec 3, 2015
  • Heartbreak Pass

    Howe Gelb navigates the joy and sorrow in his double life
    • May 7, 2015

The Range

Song of the Day: 'Cosmic Love Song No. 23' by Louise Le Hir

The Lantern Fest: Get Your Shine On

Fill Up On Beer, Bands and Brats at 4thtober Fest

More »

Latest in Music Feature

Most Commented On

  • Noise Annoys

    Mute Swan and the Curse of Local Hype
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Honky Tonk Girl

    How this Tucson 19-year-old might trip the country electric
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation