Jazzfest preview: Brad Mehldau

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Tuesday June 25, 2019

From The Ottawa Citizen

Jazzfest preview: Eclectic Brad Mehldau takes inspiration from hard bop, Bible, Trump era

“Given his eclectic abilities, the news tidbit this spring that Mehldau, 48, would debut a new, star-studded quintet in June at New York’s legendary Village Vanguard jazz club, and soon after play selected Canadian jazz festivals with the group, prompted curiosity and speculation, above all about what kind of music he would play.

‘I am as curious as you are,’ said Petr Cancura, programming manager of TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, where Mehldau’s quintet will play Wednesday night.

‘It got confirmed pretty late that it (the booking) was, in fact, going to be a quintet,’ Cancura said. ‘For the longest time, it was going to be his usual trio.’ Mehldau played the Ottawa festival with his trio in 2002, 2006 and 2008, and then returned most recently to Ottawa with saxophonist Joshua Redman in 2011.

Below, Mehldau sheds light on what his new band will play in Marion Dewar Plaza, and talks about his just-released album, Finding Gabriel ‘” an entirely different project that converts Bible-inspired notions into unique, modern protest music that embraces contemporary grooves, synth-y textures and choral singing alike.”

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