The music of the Beatles and their influence on other artists are still relevant today in Brad Mehlau‘s work, the pianist says in the liner notes to “Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays The Beatles”, to be released on Nonesuch Records this Friday, February 10th, on all digital platforms, CD, and vinyl. Recorded live and solo on two days in September 2020 at Philharmonie de Paris, Brad celebrates the Beatles with ten pieces, plus an additional David Bowie tune (“Life On Mars”).
The album opens with “I Am The Walrus” (from “Magical Mystery Tour”, 1967) and segues into “Your Mother Should Know” (from the same album). On “I Saw Her Standing There”, Brad veers towards a sort of ragtime feel and on “For No One” (“Revolver”, 1966), there is a blurred line between jazz and chamber-like motives. Things turn to the bluesier side for “Baby’s in Black” and more introspective and contemplative on “She Said She Said”.
I always liked “Here, There And Everywhere” which gets a majestic ballad treatment with just about the right amount of drama and surprises. “If I Needed Someone”, the only piece written here by George Harrison and not by Lennon/McCartney, also convinces with its straight, thoughtful interpretation. Possibly the track most suitable for an environment like this is “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”; the almost avantgarde-ish original makes way for some hilarious and innovative approaches by the pianist here. For me though, this Beatles-inspired album has its best moment with David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” at the very end of this set, all-engrossing, rich with finesse and substance.
Brad’s memoirs “Formation: Building A Personal Canon, Part 1”, will be released in mid-March. To pre-order the album, click right here.