Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brad Mehldau: This is What a Fucking Genius Sounds Like....

    I have been aware of this guy for many years. I knew he was great before I truly listened to him for the first time. A few months ago on KJZZ in Phoenix, AZ as I was cruising around one night a version of this tune from the live album Live in Marciac came on.... and done. Instant fan.
  Anyone who knows even a little about Jazz has probably heard someone do this song-most famous is probably Coltrane's versions of it. It is a song often associated with Christmas but isn't really a Christmas song-it is now a Jazz standard.
   And Mehldau absolutely fucking crushes this tune-like if Ted Williams hit home runs with nuclear warheads-crushes it. He goes from Christmas tune, to show-tune, to bluesey, to avantgarde, to Rachmaninoff, through Coltrane like a bullet-train leaving  an improvisational exit wound that could exsanguinate an army..and then carefully, beautifully stitches it back up like the Dr. Frankenstein putting the last loving touches on his creation.
And then it floats away into the air and you can hear the electricity in the air snap as the audience starts to breathe again and applauds.
I love all kinds of music, for all kinds of reasons, but I love Jazz because only Jazz can do what Mehldau does on this tune.

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