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Rare Brad Mehldau/Matt Chamberlain Duo Performance Reviewed in NPR

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Tuesday May 26, 2009

From NPR’s A Blog Supreme:

Anyone familiar with Brad Mehldau knows the pianist is tops when it comes to covering rock songs. Since he first tackled “Exit Music (For a Film),” Mehldau has reworked number of Radiohead songs, including a stunning 20-minute solo rendition of “Paranoid Android” on his Live In Tokyo album that would make even classical pianist Christopher O’Reilly feel a bit unworthy. Throughout his catalog, Mehldau has also played tunes by Paul Simon, Oasis, Nick Drake, Sufjan Stevens and even a stunning medley of Jobim’s “Wave” and The Beatles’ “Mother Nature’s Son” on his incredibly underrated, Jon Brion-produced album Largo.

But last Friday, Mehldau took his love of covers to an inspired extreme. As part of SFJazz’s spring season, the pianist performed a one-off concert with session drummer extraordinaire Matt Chamberlain in San Francisco. It was their first live performance together as a duo, and they came up with something special. After taking the stage, Mehldau said they would play “the music of Seattle,” launching into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

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