Brad Mehldau's Highway Rider

Probably today's most prominent under-50 jazz pianist, Brad Mehldau has worked most frequently in the trio format, mixing his sophisticated originals with a broad repertoire that includes Monk and Gershwin along with dorm-room favorites by Nick Drake and Radiohead. His most popular album to date, though, is 2002's Largo, an excellent neo-fusion collaboration with movie composer and pop producer Jon Brion. Mehldau reunited with Brion for last year's Highway Rider, a double album of complex, linked originals written for orchestra and a jazz band featuring tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman. Though he has one foot in the classical world, Mehldau has a pop sensibility too, and here his tunes often stick in one's head—sometimes, alas, by way of syrup, though not distressingly often, and the album as a whole successfully evokes a moody automotive picaresque. Redman and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will be on hand at Walker, making this a rare chance to hear the music given the full treatment in concert. All ages. (Photo by Augusta Quirk)
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 5. Continues through Nov. 6, 2010

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