REVIEW Brad Mehldau: Live in Marciac - Guardian

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Friday March 11, 2011


Brad Mehldau: Live in Marciac ‘” review
By John Fordham

Not only has Brad Mehldau given sustenance to his more traditionally jazz-rooted fans with this live solo-piano album (after an eclectic 2010 that saw the classical-strings collaboration Highway Rider and the Love Songs duet with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter), he’s countered the objection that he can be too preciously ruminative as well. The American star charges through this 100-minutes-plus gig with such an emphasis on repeat notes, brusque segues and thundering counterpoint that its feverish density gets close to overpowering at times. But Mehldau’s quirky covers are as compelling as ever, particularly in the mix of darting low-end melody and lilting passages on Nick Drake’s Things Behind the Sun, the countermelodic proddings accelerating to eager boogying on Kurt Cobain’s Lithium, a gentle celebration of My Favourite Things and a joyously, catchily jazzy account of the Bobby Timmons classic Dat Dere.