Critical Acclaim for Brad Mehldau's Inaugural Performances at Wigmore Hall

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Tuesday October 20, 2009

Brad Mehldau’s curating of an annual four-concert jazz series at London’s esteemed Wigmore Hall (during its 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons), began last week with inaugural performances with saxophonist Joshua Redman (as a duo) on October 15th, and with Mehldau’s long standing trio (Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard) on Friday the 16th.

Stephen Graham of Jazzwise magazine offered the following preview in advance of both concerts that aptly describes the contrasts and connections:
“With the ability to inspire devotion and admiration in equal measure with audiences like no other comparable jazz trio since the early days of the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio or E.S.T., the trio has made giant strides in a relatively short time. The contrast provided by these two concerts, with Redman’s laconic and infectious bluesy swing tonight alternating with the trio’s darker impulses tomorrow, should offer a fascinating glimpse into the current direction of these world-class improvisers”

Read the Jazzwise preview here

The Guardian’s John Fordham had the following insight on his four-star review:
“Brad Mehldau continued his intimate relationship with the Wigmore Hall’s refined acoustics through two single-set concerts on successive nights ‘” one a renewal of his long-standing partnership with the eloquent saxophonist Joshua Redman, the other a workout for his favourite vehicle, the piano-bass-drums trio. On both shows the pianist applied his remarkable contrapuntal improvising style and incisive musical intelligence to the material he almost always deploys: Broadway standards, bebop, the odd folk-pop classic, and a handful of originals.”

Read the entire Guardian review here

Read a thorough analysis/overview/blog post on the Duo performance (including song highlights) on LondonJazz

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