WEATHER »

David Bazemore

Brad Mehldau Reviewed

Mehldau Shines in Solo Recital


The buzz around this show was enormous, and Brad Mehldau’s performance nevertheless exceeded even those high expectations. Jazz has always been about achieving a balance between structure and improvisation, and this performer strikes that equilibrium at a higher level and to a greater degree than virtually any other musician of his generation. The show on Saturday played both to the pianist’s many strengths and to the deepest feelings and memories of the delighted audience.

After opening with a pair of beautiful standards, “It’s All Right with Me” by Cole Porter and “When I Fall in Love” by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, Mehldau then shifted into West Coast mode by way of “West Coast Blues” by Wes Montgomery. The latter was a magnificent demonstration of Mehldau’s Ellingtonian command of tone and nuance in the blues idiom. His right hand did things one would not have thought possible. From there, he settled into a rock groove that was thoroughly irresistible and included transcendent versions of the following, in order: The Beatles’ “The Fool on the Hill,” Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California,” Neil Young’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” No one who witnessed this extraordinary concert will forget the directness with which Mehldau communicated through these timeless classics.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Downtown Cross-Section Focuses on State Street Fixes

A streamlined permit process is in the works.

Santa Barbara Surfer Lakey Peterson in World Title Contention

Yearlong contest series culminates next week in Hawaii.

Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Returns from Camp Fire

Volunteer team looked for human remains in Paradise.

N-Word Gets SBCC Staffer Placed on Leave

Students contend racial tension common on campus.

City of Santa Barbara Hires New Fire Chief

Eric Nickel comes from Palo Alto and has big shoes to fill.