Brad Mehldau, Chris Thile are two of a kind

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Monday April 15, 2013

Brad Mehldau, Chris Thile are two of a kind

Strictly speaking, mandolinist Chris Thile is a bluegrass musician and pianist Brad Mehldau is a jazz musician. But genre categories disappeared when the two met at Berklee Performance Center Sunday night for a sold-out World Music/CRASHarts concert, the fifth show in a nine-city tour.

In fact, genre distinction is something that both musicians have worked hard to erase from their work. Mehldau’s day job is with his acclaimed jazz trio, but he likes to cover Radiohead and Nick Drake and work in a variety of contexts and collaborations. Similarly, Thile’s current outfit is the progressive-bluegrass band Punch Brothers (previously he was with Nickel Creek), but he’s also recorded and toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Goat Rodeo Sessions band, and his next album is scheduled to be a collection of Bach violin pieces transcribed for mandolin.

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