Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sunday Night is...Brad Mehldau, 'Fifty Ways...

...To Leave Your Lover'. Talking of music on the train from Criccieth to Birmingham with John W, Brad Mehldau came up, so here he is.

As a pianist I was chiefly let down by my left hand, though the right hand was not far behind. My inability to manage cross-rhythms through my fingers was similarly disappointing. Behind this lay a sheer incapacity to count at all. Despite these desperate handicaps I played piano for some five years in the blissfully forgotten jazz-standards combo, Steddy Eddy and the Metronomes. I wouldn't call us exactly third-rate. Seventeenth-rate would be closer to the mark.

Mehldau, on the other hand, has an amazing left hand - independent, powerful, beautifully subtle in rhythm, the whole delicate and meditative when the piece demands it. John suggested he was the heir to the great Bill Evans, my all time favourite jazz pianist. Mehldau might be the heir: it might be so. Here is Evans playing Nardis at a private house in Finland in 1970. It's like a scene from a movie. He declines coffee at the end. They have to get going.

Kids, Bill's posture is all wrong. Do not try this at home.

Bill Evans - p
Eddie Gomez - bs
Marty Morell - dr


Billy C said...

Wonderful, George. Another visit to a 'Night at the Proms' and you've not let me down. Both pianists are very special, but Bill Evans and the trio are magical. I was in awe at all three of the musicians when they did their solo bits. The Bass playing in particular made me go googly eyed. I've never heard one played like that, and, as you said, the whole thing was like a film.

George S said...

I agree that Bill Evans has it over Mehldau, Billy. As a friend said to me: there is no struggle in Mehldau. In other words (my words:) it flows like chocolate. That's too harsh, I think, but I understand what the friend means.

Evans has it over most jazz pianists. Eddie Gomez on bass is also stunning, nor is Marty Morell on drums too bad either.