Brad Mehldau got to me…

I’ve desperately been wanting to sleep tonight, but I can’t due to the fact that I can’t stop practicing piano and listening to Warner Brothers recording artist, Brad Mehldau. He has totally consumed my musical concentration for the past week, and tonight I have finally confronted him.

One thing I don’t do enough of is transcribe – on saxophone, piano, or any other instrument. I have always believed that true improvisation should be untainted by preconceived ideas and technique, although learning someone’s language is also important. I believe each musician has their own language, despite the fact that there is such a thing as bebop language.

Brad is one of those freaks of nature that can clearly say what he wants to on his instrument, using an immeasurable amount of contrapuntal voices at the same time and a complexity so far beyond what I can hear. It’s technically difficult, impressive, maybe even a bit showy, but it’s so clear that you are able to hear everything that goes on. Included in this blog is a sample of his version of John Coltrane’s “Countdown” from his album Art of the Trio: Volume 2 – Live at the Village Vanguard. Enjoy!

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