With his music, Brad Mehldau stops you in time and takes a gentle hold

The Artistry of… Brad Mehldau

He has performed as a trio-format player for many years. And although he’s at the piano as leader, the music’s charm is how it flows from the band as if all three are part of one. The ensemble becomes an extension of his unique way of creating a lyrical embrace as you listen. I think his The Art of the Trio project speaks directly to this; Trio Live is another.

Whether presenting his own compositions or original takes on another’s work, the honesty of his artistry is as generously displayed. It is music-making that stops you in time and takes a gentle hold. An opening note or chord can seem as if he reached out and gently touched you on the arm.

These words come directly from his bio: “As he plays, he listens to how ideas unwind, and the order in which they reveal themselves… he also has a deep fascination for the formal architecture of music, and it informs everything he plays.” His way always makes me want to say, “Have you heard how Mehldau does it?”