The Brad Mehldau Trio: Show Preview

Michael Wilson

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The Brad Mehldau Trio plays a weekend run of performances as part of the SFJAZZ Spring Season from Friday, May 18, through Sunday, May 20, at the YBCA Forum. 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Sun.), $45-$65.

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It takes a certain amount of cojones for a group to issue a series of albums entitled The Art of the Trio, but there's little question that the Brad Mehldau Trio has injected new life into the often staid piano threesome format. Built around pianist Mehldau's balance of classical influences, torrential Keith Jarrett improv, and melodic Bill Evans introspection, the group features two equally talented Bay Area products in bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard (who took over for original member Jorge Rossy in 2004). The band's latest Nonesuch effort, Ode, is a collection of new originals written by Mehldau, but followers can also expect the group's usual daring mix of standards and dramatically recast modern tunes by the likes of Radiohead, Nick Drake, and Soundgarden.

 
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