Album: Brad Mehldau, Live in Marciac (Nonesuch)

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The Independent Culture

Solo jazz piano can be a feat of endurance for both player and listener.

There are times in this 100-plus minutes of a concert recording duplicated over two CDs and one DVD where you want to jog Mehldau's elbow, but overall it's a triumph of imagination and structure. Quite simply, he's on fire, inspired, out there, playing with the gods. The DVD is basic enough but you do get to see what his hands are doing, and there's the option of a notated transcription of one number.