Brad Mehldau's "10 Years Solo Live" International Critical Acclaim Continues

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Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live, released to critical acclaim earlier this fall, continues to earn praise from around the world, including Chicago Reader ("rhapsodic"), Buffalo News ("stupendous"), Mojo ("some of the most beautiful piano playing you’ll ever hear"), Scotsman ("revelatory"), Financial Times ("rich and rewarding"), Paris Match ("stunning grace"), Jazz News ("essential"), L’Humanité ("magic"), Tastenwelt ("candidate for CD of the year"), Jazzthethik ("a tremendous showcase"), Generel Anzeiger ("a phenomenon"), NRC (five stars), De Standard ("virtuosity with lyrical inspiration"), Dag Og Tid ("monumental ... a masterpiece"), and more.

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Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live was released on Nonesuch Records as an eight-LP box set, four-CD set, and digitally to critical acclaim earlier this fall. The set is culled from live recordings made over a decade of the pianist's European solo concerts. The critical response continues to come in from publications across Europe and North America, highlights of which are shared here (via translation where applicable).

In the United States, where, upon the release of Brad Mehldau's new box set, the New York Times said it "contains some of the most impressive pianism he has captured on record," NPR's All Things Considered marveled at "his fluid technique, his instinct for reframing melodies, his gift for spinning epic narratives out of shards and fragments," and All About Jazz raved that Mehldau is "a player with a stunning virtuosity and daring ability to mine far reaches of improvisation," the Buffalo News recently added a four-star review, calling 10 Years Solo Live "a stupendous collection."

The Chicago Tribune places 10 Years Solo Live among the best jazz box sets of the year. The paper's Howard Reich writes: "Few contemporary jazz pianists command as devoted a following as Mehldau, whose incantatory solo performances vary freely among classical, jazz and pop influences."

The Chicago Reader recommends the box for the gift-giving season. Mehldau "consistently brings a rhapsodic quality to these performances," writes the paper's Peter Margasak. He "more often he plays fluidly and spontaneously, creating emotionally potent, swelling waves of filigree and shimmering harmony."

In the UK and Ireland—where a Jazzwise five-star review called it "a monumental achievement, and one of the most rewarding solo piano collections of the 21st century so far," the BBC Music Magazine five-star review says it's "a powerful picture of a renaissance artist at the height of his powers," the Irish Times five-star review said that "to listen intently is to engage in the tangle of a great musician's mind, one whose influence may now be discerned in pretty much every jazz pianist that has come after him," and Record Collector said that "hearing the pianist in full flow during a live performance is ... nothing less than an awe-inspiring experience—Mojo calls it "some of the most beautiful piano playing you’ll ever hear," and the Scotsman calls it "a collector’s piece for Mehldau fans, but also a revelatory illustration of what happens when a jazz musician of his stature settles himself at a piano and starts playing tunes."

The Telegraph includes 10 Years Solo Live among the Best Jazz Albums of 2015, giving it a full five stars and saying Mehldau's "musical intelligence is second to none."

The Financial Times added its own five-star review for this "rich and rewarding" set. "It adds up to a dazzling showcase for Mehldau’s ability to deconstruct a contemporary repertoire that includes classical music and rock as well as jazz," writes FT's Mike Hobart. "The set is as much an aesthetic statement of intent than a major-league musician’s retrospective."

In France, Paris Match notes the set's "stunning grace," TSF radio made it Album of the Day, calling it "a dream," and Jazz News magazine named it Album of the Month. "If Brad Mehldau is among the greatest masters of The Art of the Trio," says Jazz News, "he has distinguished himself for at least 10 years as an adventurer in harmony with dazzling solo concerts. Essential!" L’Humanité newspaper says: "This box set will provide you with Mehldau magic."

In Germany, Tastenwelt magazine exclaims: "You can put 10 Years Solo Live on the same level as Köln Concert by Jarrett and Piano Improvisations by Corea," calling it "a candidate for the CD of the year." Jazzthethik calls it "a tremendous showcase." Jazz Podium says: "It is exciting to journey with Mehldau way through these great discs." The Generel Anzeiger review calls it "A showcase for the most important jazz pianists of our time. A phenomenon."

In Poland, Jazz Press magazine's lead review describes 10 Years Solo Live as "a set that merits the highest ratings."

In the Netherlands, the daily newspaper NRC has given the set a five-star review, calling it "an intriguing box of great class." In Belgium, De Standard newspaper's Karel Van Keymeulen writes: "Mehldau combines virtuosity with lyrical inspiration, rolling chords and a dizzying melodic game. Small songs grow into dramatic pieces. Impressive how his interest in classical romanticism, modern jazz and tortured indie all mixes." Trends Tendance magazine says: "Since Keith Jarrett, no other pianist has impressed the jazz world so much."

In Norway, Dag Og Tid newspaper raves: "Monumental from Mehldau. The new collection is a masterpiece."

To pick up a copy of 10 Years Solo Live on vinyl, CD, and digitally, head to the Nonesuch Store, where they're currently 15% off as part of the ongoing Nonesuch Store anniversary sale.

Following two Trio concerts in Italy this weekend, Brad Mehldau plays solo shows at Dublin's National Concert Hall in Dublin and Wigmore Hall in London later this month and closes out the year with a duo set with label mate Chris Thile at Bowery Ballroom in New York City on December 28. Mehldau resumes his European tour in January. For details and tickets, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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  • Thursday, December 3, 2015
    Brad Mehldau's "10 Years Solo Live" International Critical Acclaim Continues
    Michael Wilson

    Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live was released on Nonesuch Records as an eight-LP box set, four-CD set, and digitally to critical acclaim earlier this fall. The set is culled from live recordings made over a decade of the pianist's European solo concerts. The critical response continues to come in from publications across Europe and North America, highlights of which are shared here (via translation where applicable).

    In the United States, where, upon the release of Brad Mehldau's new box set, the New York Times said it "contains some of the most impressive pianism he has captured on record," NPR's All Things Considered marveled at "his fluid technique, his instinct for reframing melodies, his gift for spinning epic narratives out of shards and fragments," and All About Jazz raved that Mehldau is "a player with a stunning virtuosity and daring ability to mine far reaches of improvisation," the Buffalo News recently added a four-star review, calling 10 Years Solo Live "a stupendous collection."

    The Chicago Tribune places 10 Years Solo Live among the best jazz box sets of the year. The paper's Howard Reich writes: "Few contemporary jazz pianists command as devoted a following as Mehldau, whose incantatory solo performances vary freely among classical, jazz and pop influences."

    The Chicago Reader recommends the box for the gift-giving season. Mehldau "consistently brings a rhapsodic quality to these performances," writes the paper's Peter Margasak. He "more often he plays fluidly and spontaneously, creating emotionally potent, swelling waves of filigree and shimmering harmony."

    In the UK and Ireland—where a Jazzwise five-star review called it "a monumental achievement, and one of the most rewarding solo piano collections of the 21st century so far," the BBC Music Magazine five-star review says it's "a powerful picture of a renaissance artist at the height of his powers," the Irish Times five-star review said that "to listen intently is to engage in the tangle of a great musician's mind, one whose influence may now be discerned in pretty much every jazz pianist that has come after him," and Record Collector said that "hearing the pianist in full flow during a live performance is ... nothing less than an awe-inspiring experience—Mojo calls it "some of the most beautiful piano playing you’ll ever hear," and the Scotsman calls it "a collector’s piece for Mehldau fans, but also a revelatory illustration of what happens when a jazz musician of his stature settles himself at a piano and starts playing tunes."

    The Telegraph includes 10 Years Solo Live among the Best Jazz Albums of 2015, giving it a full five stars and saying Mehldau's "musical intelligence is second to none."

    The Financial Times added its own five-star review for this "rich and rewarding" set. "It adds up to a dazzling showcase for Mehldau’s ability to deconstruct a contemporary repertoire that includes classical music and rock as well as jazz," writes FT's Mike Hobart. "The set is as much an aesthetic statement of intent than a major-league musician’s retrospective."

    In France, Paris Match notes the set's "stunning grace," TSF radio made it Album of the Day, calling it "a dream," and Jazz News magazine named it Album of the Month. "If Brad Mehldau is among the greatest masters of The Art of the Trio," says Jazz News, "he has distinguished himself for at least 10 years as an adventurer in harmony with dazzling solo concerts. Essential!" L’Humanité newspaper says: "This box set will provide you with Mehldau magic."

    In Germany, Tastenwelt magazine exclaims: "You can put 10 Years Solo Live on the same level as Köln Concert by Jarrett and Piano Improvisations by Corea," calling it "a candidate for the CD of the year." Jazzthethik calls it "a tremendous showcase." Jazz Podium says: "It is exciting to journey with Mehldau way through these great discs." The Generel Anzeiger review calls it "A showcase for the most important jazz pianists of our time. A phenomenon."

    In Poland, Jazz Press magazine's lead review describes 10 Years Solo Live as "a set that merits the highest ratings."

    In the Netherlands, the daily newspaper NRC has given the set a five-star review, calling it "an intriguing box of great class." In Belgium, De Standard newspaper's Karel Van Keymeulen writes: "Mehldau combines virtuosity with lyrical inspiration, rolling chords and a dizzying melodic game. Small songs grow into dramatic pieces. Impressive how his interest in classical romanticism, modern jazz and tortured indie all mixes." Trends Tendance magazine says: "Since Keith Jarrett, no other pianist has impressed the jazz world so much."

    In Norway, Dag Og Tid newspaper raves: "Monumental from Mehldau. The new collection is a masterpiece."

    To pick up a copy of 10 Years Solo Live on vinyl, CD, and digitally, head to the Nonesuch Store, where they're currently 15% off as part of the ongoing Nonesuch Store anniversary sale.

    Following two Trio concerts in Italy this weekend, Brad Mehldau plays solo shows at Dublin's National Concert Hall in Dublin and Wigmore Hall in London later this month and closes out the year with a duo set with label mate Chris Thile at Bowery Ballroom in New York City on December 28. Mehldau resumes his European tour in January. For details and tickets, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    Journal Articles:Artist NewsReviews

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