Pianist Brad Mehldau will replace pianist André Previn at Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 West 3rd Street, New York, NY, Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 8, as part of the 2014 Blue Note Jazz Festival. Previn was initially scheduled to perform with bassist Christian McBride during that time frame and has had to postpone the engagement due to unforeseen circumstances. Mehldau and McBride will now present the world premiere of a rare duo collaboration, billed as Brad Mehldau & Christian McBride" (produced by Jill Newman Productions). Mehldau and McBride share a rich history (dating back to their prolific work together as part of saxophonist Joshua Redman's quartet in the 1990s); however this marks a special engagement for the two musicians. The Previn-McBride duo collaboration will be rescheduled at a future date, to be determined.
About Brad Mehldau
One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano, Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path, which embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism, and pop allure. From critical acclaim as a bandleader and solo artist to major international exposure in collaborations with Pat Metheny, Anne Sofie von Otter, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Renee Fleming, Britten Sinfonia, and Joshua Redman, Mehldau continues to garner numerous awards and admiration from both jazz purists and music enthusiasts alike. His forays into melding musical idioms, in his trio (with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums) and solo settings, has seen brilliant re-workings of songs by contemporary songwriters like The Beatles, Cole Porter, Radiohead, George and Ira Gershwin, and Nick Drake, alongside the ever evolving breadth of his own significant catalogue of original compositions.
With his affection for popular music and classical training, Mehldau has become “universally admired as one of the most adventurous pianists to arrive on the jazz scene in years (Los Angeles Times).” In the last few years alone, Mehldau’s Nonesuch releases have showcased the facets of his fruitful, ever-evolving career as it enters its second decade: his ambitious orchestral record with producer Jon Brion (Highway Rider); his live solo performances (Live in Marciac); his collaborations with genre-crossing musicians (Modern Music, with composer/pianist Kevin Hays and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli); his trio work with his longstanding acclaimed trio (the Grammy-Nominated Ode and the acclaimed Where Do You Start—both released in the same year), and most recently a turn into electric territories in a duo with the prodigious drummer Mark Guiliana (Mehliana: Taming the Dragon).
About Christian McBride
Bassist extraodinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and administrator, Christian McBride, has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for 20 years. Sometimes hard to believe considering this man is not yet 40.
Beginning in 1989, this Philadelphia-born bassist moved to New York City to further his classical studies at the Juilliard School, only to be snatched up by alto saxophonist, Bobby Watson. Since then, McBride's list of accomplishments have been nothing short of staggering. As a sideman in the jazz world alone, he's worked with the best of the very best - Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. In the R&B world, he's not only played with, but also arranged for Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. In the pop/rock world, he's extensively collaborated with Sting, Carly Simon, Don Henley, and Bruce Hornsby. In the hip-hop/neo-soul world, he's collaborated with the Roots, D'Angelo, and Queen Latifah. In many other specialty projects, he's worked closely with opera legend Kathleen Battle, bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, the Shanghai Quartet and the Sonus Quartet.
In 1998, McBride composed, The Movement, Revisited", a four-movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement - Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The piece was commissioned by the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts. The piece was performed throughout the New England states in the fall of 1998 with McBride's quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir led by J.D. Steele.
Ten years later in 2008, The Movement, Revisited" was expanded, re-written, re-vamped and performed again in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The updated version now featured the gospel choir, an 18-piece big-band and four actors/speakers. The Los Angeles Times claimed the Movement" as, a work that was admirable — to paraphrase Dr. King — for both the content of its music and the character of its message."
For over 20 years, McBride has appeared in numerous musical settings with just about any musician imaginable in the jazz as well as R&B and pop worlds. From playing with the likes of Milt Jackson, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny; to playing with and/or arranging for the likes of Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway, Sting and the legendary James Brown—what has always been unique about McBride is his versatility.
In addition to his work in the neo-soul arena with The Roots, D’Angelo, Queen Latifah and others, the Philadelphia native has also led his own ensembles: The Christian McBride Band, A Christian McBride Situation and his most recent group, Inside Straight (fresh off their critically acclaimed 2009 effort, Kind of Brown).