Brad Mehldau


Essential Albums

  • Highway Rider

Artist Playlists

About Brad Mehldau

Primarily known as a lyrically inclined trio leader and solo pianist, Brad Mehldau is one of jazz's more consistently innovative and influential presences. Born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1970, the teenaged Mehldau had his come-to-jazz moment upon hearing Keith Jarrett’s Bremen/Lausanne solo concert. He joined saxophonist Joshua Redman's quartet in the early '90s, formed his first long-term trio (with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy) in 1994, and released Introducing Brad Mehldau the following year. Although he'd covered Radiohead and singer/songwriter Nick Drake as early as 1998, it was 2002's Largo, with its elegantly arranged excursions into the music of Black Sabbath and The Beatles, that expanded the jazz-piano palette forever. Jeff Ballard replaced Rossy in 2005, giving the threesome a harder edge, while Mehldau punctuated his stellar trio work with increasingly diverse side projects. These included a collaboration with guitarist Pat Metheny, song cycles composed for and performed with Renée Fleming and Anne Sofie von Otter, electronic-keyboard confabs with drummer Mark Guiliana, Americana-tinged duets with bluegrass mandolinist Chris Thile, and an album of solo Bach interpretations—not to mention numerous sideman gigs with the likes of Lee Konitz, Charles Lloyd, and Vinicius Cantuária. With its focus on vocals and electronics, 2019's biblically inspired Finding Gabriel teed up 2022's Jacob's Ladder, a unique throwback to Mehldau's adolescent passion for prog rockers Rush, Gentle Giant, and Yes, as interpreted through an Old Testament lens.

Jacksonville, FL, United States
August 23, 1970

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