Live In Marciac

Live In Marciac

Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau has collaborated with the classical singers Renée Fleming and Anne Sofie von Otter. He’s recorded two discs, Largo and Highway Rider, with pop wizard Jon Brion. And he’s known for interpreting pieces by rock musicians as well as standards from the Great American Songbook. But listening to his 2011 solo piano album, Live In Marciac, it’s still striking how he can sound so un-jazz-like. And it’s clear that his ties to pop and classical run deep: it’s in his very touch. A passage might have the feel of a rock keyboard part and his rhythmic sense can bring to mind classical grandeur as much as jazzy flow. (Two very different pianists you might think of listening to this expansive album are Keith Jarrett and Keith Emerson, from the prog-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.) Live In Marciac features a number of originals, but the covers include songs by Nick Drake (“Things Behind the Sun”), Cole Porter (“It’s All Right With Me”), Kurt Cobain (“Lithium”), and Bobby Timmons (“Dat Dere”). Judging from the crowd reaction at this 2006 show, it’s clear the audience is glad to be taken any place Mehldau goes.

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