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Brad Mehldau

One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano. His playing embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classic romanticism, and pop charm. He has won critical acclaim as a band leader and for his collaborations with Pat Metheny, Renee Fleming and Joshua Redman. Mehldau wins the admiration of jazz purists and modern jazz enthusiasts alike. His forays into blending musical styles, both as a trio and solo, have resulted in brilliant reworkings of songs by contemporary songwriters such as The Beatles, Cole Porter, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Gershwin, and Nick Drake, and an ever-expanding catalog of original compositions.

“Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years”
– The New York Times

Brad Mehldau (1970) is now considered one of the most outstanding pianists of the world jazz scene, an artist who expanded the boundaries of this genre and took the art of improvisation to a new, previously unknown level. He is an artist with an exceptionally high musical awareness. He achieved it as a result of a thorough education (studying with Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner) and in-depth studies of jazz, the heritage of the German Romantics with Brahms at the forefront, and readings in the philosophy of music.
In his youth, he was inspired by the achievements of jazz giants (Coltrane, Art Taum, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner), rock (especially Jimi Hendrix) and the music of The Beatles. An important moment was getting acquainted with the work of Keith Jarrett – the album “Bremen/Lousanne” made the young artist aware of the soloist potential of the piano. Intensive work with the instrument, analysis of scores and many years of reflection allowed him to build a coherent aesthetic system, which became the basis of his art.
He made his debut with the album “Introducing Brad Melhdau” (1995), recorded with Larry Grenadier and Jorge Rossy (later replaced by Jeff Ballard), who formed the rhythm section of his band for years. In 1997, “The Art of the Trio Volume One” was released, the first album opening a series of albums recorded in a three-person line-up – from that moment on, the piano trio became the main format of expression for Mehldau and at the same time a kind of laboratory where he could implement and improve his ideas. In the following years, he also recorded solo (m.in. “Live in Marciac”), in duets and quartets (with Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny). He did not shy away from experimenting with larger ensembles – on the albums “Largo”, featuring Polish bassist Dariusz Oleszkiewicz, “Finding Gabriel” (with Kurt Elling, brass section, strings, electronics and extensive drums) or “Jacob’s Ladder”, he combined acoustic jazz, synthetic sounds, free improvisation and extensive, arranged forms.
He performs his own compositions, standards, classics (the album “After Bach”) and jazz versions of pop hits. He appreciates simple, efficiently written melodies, regardless of who is their author; believes that the theme of Brahms, songs by Lennon or Radiohead have the same value and can be a grateful material for transformations in the process of improvisation.
He is a master of mood – especially in ballads, where inspired phrases contrast with perfect technique – and a subtle colourist, attaching great importance to sound, dynamics, texture and detail. He has full control over the form of the works, which resemble multi-threaded stories with fast-paced narration and engaging dramaturgy. Mehldau’s style has been influencing a multitude of musicians of the young generation for years, today it is difficult to find a pianist who would not admit to being inspired by his art.
Brad Mehldau’s concert will certainly be one of the most momentous events of this year’s Summer Jazz Festival Krakow.

– Bogdan Chmura

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Date

Jun 29 2024

Time

8:00 pm

More Info

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Location

Filharmonia im. K Szymanowskiego
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