Brad Mehldau, the most influential jazz pianist of the past 20 years, will find the mandolinist and singer Chris Thile, an equally outstanding instrumentalist. An unusual duo to be missed under no pretext.
“I think we’ve found a way to play with each other that is quite unique,” says Mehldau. “It highlights the string-instrument aspect of both instruments. Chris and I are both influenced by guitar-oriented music, so I think we wind up ‘playing guitar’ for each other a lot, only I’m doing it on piano and he’s doing it on mandolin. Chris also plays drums a lot for me—you can hear that on a track like ‘Scarlet Town,’ where he gives me a kind of back beat. Even though that’s a very small instrument he plays, there’s a large world of musical sound that he conveys. So probably a lot of what’s special about this project for me is the way we get beyond our instruments.”