Grammy Award winning jazz pianist Brad Mehldau has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s. Mehldau’s most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Starting in 1996, his group released a series of five records on Warner Bros. entitled The Art of the Trio (recently re-packaged and re-released as a 5-Disc box set by Nonesuch in late 2011). During that same period, Mehldau also released a solo piano recording entitled Elegiac Cycle, and a record called Places that included both solo piano and trio songs. Elegiac Cycle and Places might be called “concept” albums made up exclusively of original material with central themes that hover over the compositions. Other Mehldau recordings include Largo, a collaborative effort with the innovative musician and producer Jon Brion, and Anything Goes—a trio outing with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy. Discover more about Brad Mehldau on his official website
“Hungry Ghost” is from the Grammy nominated album “Mehliana: Taming the Dragon” released on the Nonesuch label in 2014 and written by Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, leader of the genre-defying Beat Music (a group that juxtaposes electronica, funk, jazz, progressive rock, etc.). Mehldau plays synths, Rhodes, and acoustic piano, while Guiliana provides drums and other electronics. The blending of keyboards, beats, textures, musical styles, samples, and electronic sounds brings all of these elements into one imaginative, provocative, and focused whole. This live version of the song was performed at the Largo nightclub in Los Angeles in October 2013.
“Blackbird”, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney is from the album “The Art of the Trio Volume One” released by Warner Brothers in 1997. Mehldau is known for his double personality, the improviser who cherishes the surprise and wonder coming from a spontaneous musical idea and the formalist who is deeply fascinated by the architecture of music which serves him as an expressive device. This dichotomy is quite discernible with his version of the Beatles’ iconic “Blackbird”.
The album “Seymour Reads the Constitution” was recorded at the Avatar Studios in New York City by the Brad Mehldau Trio with Larry Grenadier on bass, Jeff Ballard on drums, and released on Nonesuch Records in 2018. The title of this album came from a dream that Mehldau had in which actor Philip Seymour Hoffman read the Constitution of the U.S. to him. Hoffman passed away less than two weeks after Mehldau’s dream. The title track “Seymour Reads the Constitutio” was composed as a New Orleans style waltz. The album received two Grammy nominations – one for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, and the song “De-Dah” was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo.
“Where do you start” was recorded by the Brad Mehldau Trio in 2012.
Mehldau’s nuanced jazz style is highlighted in this intimate, impressionistic and probing piece, the dynamics of which are irresistible. Mehldau creates fascinating detours and slow-changing moods and motifs throughout the album as he takes on both jazz and pop standards as well as one of his original compositions. This album received the First Prize as Best Album of the Year from the ‘French Académie du Jazz.‘
For more information and tour dates: Brad Mehldau Website
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
My thanks to William for the amazing artists he has brought to the blog and thank you for dropping in today. As always your feedback is very welcome.