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Live In Marciac CD+DVD, Box set

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Feb. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: CD+DVD, Box set
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B002CW4KIW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,866 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Storm
  2. It's All Right With Me
  3. Secret Love
  4. Unrequited
  5. Resignation
  6. Trailer Park Ghost
  7. Goodbye Storyteller
  8. Exit Music

Disc: 2

  1. Things Behind The Sun
  2. Lithium
  3. Lilac Wine
  4. Martha My Dear
  5. My Favorite Things
  6. Dat Dere

Disc: 3

  1. Storm / It's All Right With Me
  2. Secret Love
  3. Unrequited
  4. Resignation
  5. Trailer Park Ghost
  6. Goodbye Storyteller [for Fred Myrow] / Exit Music [for a Film]
  7. Things Behind The Sun
  8. Lithium
  9. Lilac Wine
  10. Martha My Dear
  11. My Favorite Things

Product Description

Product Description

Live In Marciac, a two-CD/one DVD set, is pianist and composer Brad Mehldau’s second collection of live solo recordings, joining Live In Toyko in his Nonesuch catalogue. This engrossing set, from a summer festival in Marciac, France, features both Mehldau originals and his ruminative explorations of material from such artists and writers as Nick Drake, Radiohead, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Kurt Cobain, along with American Songbook classics from Cole Porter (‘It’s All Right With Me’) and Rogers and Hammerstein (‘My Favorite Thing’).

The accompanying film offers a beautifully rendered, piano’s-eye view of Mehldau from this French performance, an extraordinarily up-close opportunity to observes his hands – and mind – at work. As London’s Daily Telegraph has noted, ‘He’s a pianist who has it all, technically speaking, and he also has a fabulously well-stocked brain that can mingle different musical traditions. He can turn a standard with consummate musicianship and real swing, he can mine the depths of a blues chord sequence, he can summon a rock-anthem ecstasy. And lurking in the background is a fascination with classical music, revealed in the way inner parts surge and pluck at the main melody.’

The release of this live set caps a remarkable year for the pianist, who just celebrated his 40th birthday in August. Mehldau was awarded the prestigious Richard and Barbara Debs Composers Chair at Carnegie Hall for the current season, in recognition of his “sensuous, cerebral, and incandescent” work. Through spring 2011, he is serving as an artist in residence at Carnegie Hall, programming concerts – including the recent live premiere of his latest original work, Highway Rider – and conducting master classes, as well as collaborating with other artists, such as mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, with whom he will perform an expanded version of his Love Songs. This honour marks the first time the chair has been given to a jazz artist and, as New York magazine put it, ‘Not just any cat – a pianist with broad influences and a cerebral style.’ In London Mehldau continues his Wigmore Hall curatorship in 2011 with performances in September and December.

Highway Rider, released on Nonesuch in March, has been universally acclaimed. Naming it one of the best jazz releases of 2010, Jazzwise declared, ‘Mehldau is once again breaking new ground.’ The Guardian concurred: ‘Highway Rider's contrasts and dramatic entries spring constant surprises, and show how much progress the mesmerising improviser has made as a big-ensemble composer. This is the kind of genre dialogue that gets classical/jazz crossovers a good name.’

BBC Review

As a jazz pianist, Brad Mehldau has always been at his best in two formats: the classic piano-bass-drums trio and as a solo player. Later in 2011, Nonesuch plans to re-issue his great The Art of the Trio recordings as a six-disc box set. Meanwhile, on Live in Marciac, Mehldau is heard playing alone before an enthusiastic audience at the August 2006 Marciac Jazz festival – his first solo release since 2004’s Live in Tokyo.

Live in Marciac consists of two CDs plus a DVD, altogether over 100 minutes of music. Remarkably, across its length the virtuosity and excitement levels never dip. After repeated hearings, the music sounds as fresh as ever. Typically for Mehldau, the repertoire is a mix of original compositions and an eclectic selection of songs.

Alongside standards by Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein are songs by Mehldau favourites Radiohead, Nick Drake and The Beatles. More surprising is the inclusion of James Shelton’s Lilac Wine – popularised by Jeff Buckley – and Nirvana’s Lithium. Although classically trained, Mehldau clearly listens widely, and is a magpie for a catchy melody.

Despite such diversity, the album has an overall sense of unity. Without going to excessive lengths, Mehldau explores each piece forensically, teasingly playing around with its melody and occasionally investigating side alleys. As is his habit, he revisits pieces he has explored before; for instance, this is his third version of Radiohead’s Exit Music (For a Film). Mehldau is constantly playing, never still, with both hands ranging across the entire keyboard. His music is so rich that at times it is possible to believe two players are at work.

The DVD is the first ever of Mehldau in concert; he is seen performing all but one of the album tracks. Being able to watch Mehldau’s hands, fingers, facial expressions, concentration, effort and sweat enhances the listening experience, providing an intimacy even denied to audience members. The DVD also offers the opportunity to see a scrolling transcription of Resignation while Mehldau plays it, making it the cherry on the top of an already excellent album.

--John Eyles

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Brad Mehldau's new album is superb. As a musician he has it all: great technique, fierce intelligence and a sense of adventure in his choice of material. He plays wonderfully with others as his trio work and collaborations with Pat Metheny show, but playing live solo seems to bring out something extra special. Right up there with the previously released and also stunning Live In Tokyo.
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Format: Audio CD
After Elegiac Cycle (recorded in studio in 1999) and Live in Tokyo (recorded live in 2003), this Live in Marciac (recorded live on August 2nd 2006) is the third solo piano album from Brad Mehldau. About 100 minutes of music divided in two CDs (60+40) plus a DVD containing the video recording of the same concert with the same tracks in the two CDs except for the last one. The ingredients are basically the same of most of other Mehldau's albums: a beautiful blend of original compositions, renowned jazz standards, rock-pop tunes. I have to confess that I'm a big fan of Brad Mehldau, I have all his CDs and seen him live in concert several times. So I was looking forward to listening this new release but honestly I was not expecting results much different than those already heard. Primarily because the repertoire proposed is mostly made of compositions already in his previous solo or trio recordings. However I was wrong and nicely surprised: Mehldau plays here more unrestrained than ever, more dynamic than ever, always full of energy. Each track is reinvented and a new perspective comes out. A real delight. In addition the recorded sound is great and the piano sound is beautifully captured (warm, natural and with a full and realistic dynamic range), better than the previous Live in Tokyo.

The DVD is a nice plus and its image quality is fairly good. Frankly there in not much going on, just Brad sitting and playing the piano, close-ups are conventional and you won't discover much about the way he moves his fingers along the piano keyboard. The DVD audio is only 2.0 Dolby Digital (two-channel stereo) and I found it of inferior quality as compared to the stereo tracks on the two CDs. I would consider the DVD just a bonus, but I won't recommend buying this Live in Marciac just for the video. Listen and enjoy the two CDs instead!
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By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Jun. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like several other reviewers, my previous peak of enjoyment for Brad Mehldau was Live in Tokyo, an extraordinary album that balances his smart, stylish approach to performance & repertoire with a warm-hearted lyricism. Nick Drake's "Behind the Sun" was a case in point, as was "Someone To Watch Over Me" and the slow section of his mighty 20-minute rendition of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android". Live in Marciac is not another album like Live in Tokyo.

Consider the track here called "Exit Music (For A Film)". This is not the straight arrangement of the Radiohead track from Mehldau's previous trio recordings; instead, he introduces the theme from the Radiohead song over a ostinato that makes it seem almost an afterthought. The earlier versions are fairly polite: this one is muscular and uncompromising.

For much of the first half of this concert Mehldau focuses on his own originals, and his approach tends towards austere shows of jazz counterpoint that are technically astounding. Moments of lyrical calm flash by in a few bars during such pieces. Mehldau gives notice that he is here to dazzle & overpower the listener, not necessarily to befriend him (or her).

In the second half, there are some very interesting standard performances. "Behind the Sun" gets a more aggressive and rhythmic reading that takes it further from the original. Nirvana's "Lithium" is played upbeat but with angular dissonances that suggest mania rather than depression. "Lilac Wine" (perhaps now best known in Jeff Buckley's version) is stripped of unnecessary drama and converted eventually into a blues number.

The Beatles' "Martha My Dear" (in a version very close to the one on the Day Is Done album) is almost Baroque in its counterpoint ...
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Format: Audio CD
Quite why it has taken 5 years for this two cd/one dvd set to be released is something of a mystery, but the wait has been well worthwhile.
Those familiar with the work of Mehldau will need no recommendation from me. However,what the title does not reveal is that this is a SOLO album and in my opinion Mehldau isat his best in this setting He is also before a live audience which seems to inspire him.My previous Mehldau favourite was 2003's Live in Tokyo which was also a solo effort.Although Brad Mehldau is a fine composer and there are several excellent examples here such as "Unrequited',I think he is at his best when he interprets other composers songs.There are the predictable standards such as Cole Porters 'It's Alright With Me' and Jazz Standards such as Bobby Timmon's 'Dat Dere' but what I am most impressed with are his interpretatons of less predictable items.He is an exquisite player of Nick Drake's songs and like the Tokyo session this contains a superb [and suptly different]treatment of "Things Behind The Sun' This makes you realise hat a great songwriter Drake was. What Mehldau seems to be able to do is to bring out the essence of a song rather than try to impress with how clever his technique is.He achieves the same with such diverse as Kurt Cobain;s 'Lithium' and Radioheads 'Exit Music' Even more impressive is the way in which he breaths new life into such wee worn pieces as My Favourite Things and 'My Secret Love'..a thing of delicate exquisite beauty.
The accompanying Dvd covers some of the concert and a transcription of 'Resignation' Highly recommended.
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