Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mehldau's menagerie

"Anything Goes" from Warner Brothers is a good Brad Mehldau CD, with the pianist and his regular trio remaking a nice variety of tunes, including one loopy Monk-like rendition of "Get Happy," a version of "Nearness of You" that didn't have me thinking of Norah Jones (Vince Guaraldi maybe), Monk's "Skippy" informed by Monk but not a slavish imitation, Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" done up ballady and an avant-garde reading of "Smile," on which he seems to be playing with more than two hands.

If Mehldau, Vijay Iyer and Jean-Michael Pilc were in a cutting contest, I think I'd put my money on Pilc. His evident familiarity with stride leads me to believe he probably knows how to fight dirty and he talks some good trash at his live performances, albeit in French. I think it would be a close contest, however, like 62-60, and Mehldau sure wouldn't go 1-9.

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