CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Friday, March 11, 2011 | 7:30 PM

Brad Mehldau and Friends

Piano Power

Zankel Hall
This year’s composer-in-residence showcases the instrument that made him a jazz star. Mehldau performs selections from Andres’s Shy and Mighty, joined by the composer on the piano, and a two-piano work by Patrick Zimmerli with Kevin Hays. There is also a world premiere of Mehldau’s own Rock ‘n’ Roll Dances Nos. 3 and 4, a Carnegie Hall commission.

Performers

  • Becca Stevens, Vocals
  • Brad Mehldau, Piano
  • Chris Cheek, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone
  • Chris Potter, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, and Flute
  • Greg Tardy, Tenor Saxophone and Bass Clarinet
  • Joris Roelofs, Tenor Saxophone and Bass Clarinet
  • Joshua Redman, Tenor Saxophone and Soprano Saxophone
  • Kevin Hays, Piano
  • Sam Sadigursky, Tenor Saxophone, Flute, and Clarinet
  • Timothy Andres, Piano

Program

  • PATRICK ZIMMERLI Modern Music
  • PATRICK ZIMMERLI Generatrix
  • TIMOTHY ANDRES Selections from Shy and Mighty
    ·· The night jaunt
    ·· How can I live in your world of ideas?
    ·· Pavane (pour un compositeur défunt)
  • KERN "All the Things You Are"
  • KEVIN HAYS Elegia
  • BRAD MEHLDAU Rock 'n' Roll Dances No. 3 & 4 (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

Bios

  • Becca Stevens

    Becca Stevens's songs expand and blur the boundaries of folk, jazz, and pop, while engaging the listener through keen poetic observation, rich musical language, and beguiling singing. Her musical roots are in classical guitar, the folk music of her native North Carolina, and jazz, with additional influences ranging from West African rhythms to eccentric pop.

    Stevens began her artistic career while still in diapers, singing and performing with her family band, the Tune Mammals. She received her high school diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied classical guitar. She earned a bachelor's degree from Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City. It was at The New School that Stevens met most of the musicians who would eventually make up the Becca Stevens Band.

    Along with being leader, composer, and arranger for the Becca Stevens Band, Stevens's career takes her in many directions-from recording and touring internationally with jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, and as lead singer of Travis Sullivan's Björkestra, to writing lyrics for and performing with drummer Eric Harland, saxophonist Logan Richardson, and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Stevens performs and records regularly in New York and can be heard on Sam Sadigursky's Words Project, Gideon van Gelder's Perpetual, Andy Milne's Layers of Chance, and as co-writer and featured performer on Taylor Eigsti's Daylight at Midnight on Concord Records.
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  • Brad Mehldau

    One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano, Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path, which embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism, and pop allure. His forays into melding musical idioms, in both trio (with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums) and solo settings, has seen brilliant re-workings of songs by contemporary songwriters like The Beatles, Cole Porter, Radiohead, Paul Simon, George Gershwin, and Nick Drake, alongside the ever expanding breadth of his own significant catalog of original compositions.

    In addition to his trio and solo projects, Mehldau has worked with a number of great jazz musicians, including a rewarding gig with saxophonist Joshua Redman's band for two years; recordings and concerts with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, and Lee Konitz; and recording as a sideman with Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. Mehldau also has played on a number of recordings outside of the jazz idiom, like Willie Nelson's Teatro and singer-songwriter Joe Henry's Scar. His music has appeared in several movies, including Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and Wim Wenders's The Million Dollar Hotel. He also composed an original soundtrack for the French film Ma femme est une actrice.

    Mehldau recently composed two new works commissioned by Carnegie Hall for voice and piano, The Blue Estuaries and The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, which were performed in the spring of 2005 with acclaimed classical soprano Renée Fleming. These songs were recorded with Ms. Fleming and released in 2006 on the Love Sublime record; simultaneously, Nonesuch released an album of Mehldau's jazz compositions for trio entitled House on Hill. A 2008 Carnegie Hall commission for a cycle of seven love songs for Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, set to poems of Sara Teasdale, premiered in 2009. In addition to their album Love Songs, a selection of French, American, English, and Swedish songs they have performed together was released last year.

    Mehldau was appointed curator of an annual four-concert jazz series at London's prestigious Wigmore Hall during its 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, with Mehldau appearing in at least two of the four annual concerts.

    Visit carnegiehall.org/mehldau to read Mehldau's exclusive blog.
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  • Chris Cheek

    Originally from St. Louis, Chris Cheek played with a variety of local bands before finishing his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since moving to New York in the early '90s, Cheek has played, recorded, and toured with Paul Motian, Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra, Steve Swallow and Carla Bley, Guillermo Klein and "Los Guachos," Bill Frisell, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Eliot Zigmund, Tom Harrell, Luciana Souza, the Jordi Rossy Quintet, The Bloomdaddies, The Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout, Jen Chapin, and Brian Blade, and he has been invited to perform as a guest soloist with the Orchestra Jazz de Matosinhos in Oporto, Portugal. In addition to leading his own band and co-leading the quartet Rudder, Cheek currently freelances with various groups in New York City and throughout Europe. In addition to an extensive catalog as a sideman, he has recorded four albums as a leader, available on Fresh Sound Records.
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  • Chris Potter

    A world-class soloist, accomplished composer, and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. A potent improviser and the youngest musician ever to win Denmark's Jazzpar Prize, Potter's impressive discography includes 15 albums as a leader with sideman appearances on an additional 100 albums. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his solo work on "In Vogue," a track from Joanne Brackeen's Pink Elephant Magic, and was prominently featured on Steely Dan's Grammy-winning album Two Against Nature.

    Potter's most recent recording, Ultrahang, is the culmination thus far of five years' work with his Underground quartet: Adam Rogers on guitar, Craig Taborn on Fender Rhodes, and Nate Smith on drums. Recorded in the studio in January 2009 after extensive touring, it showcases the band at its freewheeling yet cohesive best.

    Since bursting onto the New York scene in 1989 as an 18-year-old prodigy with bebop icon Red Rodney (who himself had played as a young man alongside the legendary Charlie Parker), Potter has steered a steady course of growth as an instrumentalist and composer-arranger. Through the 1990s, he continued to gain invaluable bandstand experience as a sideman, while also making strong statements as a bandleader-composer-arranger. Acclaimed outings like 1997's Unspoken (with bassist and mentor Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and guitarist John Scofield), 1998's Vertigo, 2001's Gratitude, and 2002's Traveling Mercies showed a penchant for risk-taking and genre-bending.
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  • Greg Tardy

    Born into a musical family, Greg Tardy began his musical career studying classical clarinet. Though he originally prepared himself for a symphony career, he soon was asked to fill in on saxophone with various ensembles. Although he never practiced the saxophone seriously, Tardy began getting calls to play local funk gigs in the Milwaukee area. At the prodding of his older brother, he finally explored the music of John Coltrane and determined that he would be a jazz musician.

    Tardy's passion for the saxophone took over his studies and soon his clarinet was gathering dust. He moved to St. Louis, and after a year of performing on the jazz and blues scene, he decided to move back to his birthplace, New Orleans, in order to focus even more on his jazz studies. In 1992, Tardy recorded his first solo project, Crazy Love. That was also the year that he was picked up by Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, a relationship that lasted several years. During his time with the legendary Elvin Jones, Tardy felt that it was finally time to move to the Big Apple. In New York, he went on to perform and record with an extremely large array of prominent artists, including Tom Harrell, Dave Douglas, Wynton Marsalis, Jay McShann, Steve Coleman, Betty Carter, James Moody, Bill Frisell, Rashied Ali, John Patitucci, and many more. He has also performed and/or recorded alongside many other notable saxophonists, such as Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Dewey Redman, and Ravi Coltrane. In more recent years, Mr. Tardy has gone full circle, bringing his clarinet out of retirement and using it on recordings with Tom Harrell, Ohad Talmor and Steve Swallow, Stefan Harris, and Andrew Hill.
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  • Joris Roelofs

    Joris Roelofs, born in Aix-en-Provence and raised in Amsterdam, plays saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute. He began studying classical clarinet at age 6 and added the alto saxophone at age 12. Roelofs has been a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra since 2005, and he plays lead alto in the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 2001, he won the Pim Jacobs Prize, and in 2002, he was awarded first prize at the Prinses Christina Concours. In 2003, he received, as the first non-American, the Clifford Brown / Stan Getz Fellowship in the US, organized by the International Association for Jazz Education. In 2004, Roelofs received first prize at the prestigious Deloitte Jazz Awards in the Netherlands, an award for young musicians about to start their international carrier.

    As a leader, he has performed at the North Sea Jazz festival, the Concertgebouw, and Smalls Jazz Club in Manhattan, among other places. As a sideman, Roelofs has been playing at a large number of international jazz festivals and jazz clubs all over the world. He moved to New York City in March 2008.
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  • Joshua Redman

    One of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the '90s, award-winning saxophonist Joshua Redman has toured and/or recorded with such distinguished musicians as Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Brian Blade.

    The son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff, Joshua was born in Berkeley, California, and is an alumnus of the jazz studies program at Berkeley High School. After graduating from Harvard College, he was accepted by Yale Law School but postponed his entrance for one year to satisfy a growing desire to pursue music. Four months later, Redman's decision was validated when he was named winner of the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition by a panel of judges comprising Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Jackie McLean, Frank Wess, and the late Benny Carter.

    As a bandleader, Redman has recorded more than a dozen albums, earning Grammy nominations and garnering top honors in both the critics and readers polls of DownBeat, JazzTimes, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. Redman's current projects include a duo with celebrated pianist Brad Mehldau and a new quartet collective called James Farm, with Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, and Eric Harland. James Farm is set to release its debut album this year.
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  • Kevin Hays

    Jazz pianist and composer Kevin Hays has recorded nearly a dozen CDs as a leader, including three critically acclaimed recordings for Blue Note Records. His Seventh Sense album was recognized as one of the Top 40 Jazz Releases of the Year by Musician magazine and praised by The New York Times. His trio recording for Blue Note, which featured jazz legends Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, was awarded four stars in DownBeat magazine.

    Over the past 10 years, Hays has performed extensively with his trio, which includes bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Bill Stewart. He also records and tours frequently with his group Sangha Quartet, featuring tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake.

    The last three years have been productive ones for Hays. His recent recording activity includes the solo piano CD Open Range, released on the ACT label, and the launching of PinonDisk Records, his own label on which he has released his trio recording What Survives, pairing his own compositions with arrangements of classical works by Brahms, Schumann, and Webern.
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  • Sam Sadigursky

    Saxophonist, multi-reedist, and composer Sam Sadigursky is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation, equally comfortable in a variety of musical and improvisational landscapes. His critically lauded first recording, The Words Project, was given a four-star review by Time Out New York, which also named it one of 2007's 10 best albums. As a sought-after sideman, Sadigursky has performed with, among others, the Charles Mingus Orchestra, Anat Fort, and Gabriel Kahane. He is also a member of the Grammy-nominated group Secret Society and appears on numerous recordings for Fresh Sound / New Talent, Playscape Recordings, Chonta Records, and World Culture Music.

    As a composer whose works show a deep knowledge and fascination with classical harmony and instrumentation, Sadigursky has been commissioned by vocal groups and film directors, and has collaborated with modern dance choreographers in live performances of their works. He is a three-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award. More recently, he received a Chamber Music America / Face French American Jazz Exchange grant, as well as grants from the Jerome Foundation and The Puffin Foundation. He has also recently published two books of original clarinet etudes.
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  • Timothy Andres

    Composer and pianist Timothy Andres grew up in rural Connecticut and lives in Brooklyn. His compositions meld a classical-music upbringing with diverse interests in the natural world, graphic arts, technology, cooking, and photography. An avid pianist from an early age, Andres performs widely, focusing especially on music by his contemporaries. His debut album, Shy and Mighty, was released by Nonesuch in May 2010. The disc features ten interrelated pieces for two pianos performed by Andres and co-pianist David Kaplan.

    Recent commissions include It takes a long time to become a good composer, a companion suite to Schumann's Kreisleriana; a re-imagined version of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 26, K. 537, for Metropolis Ensemble with original left hand and cadenzas; an Ives-inspired work for the American Contemporary Music Ensemble; an octet for the New World Symphony's chamber ensemble; a "double concerto" for violinist-violist Owen Dalby and the Albany Symphony Orchestra; and a chamber orchestra work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which was conducted by John Adams. The 2010-2011 season brings new pieces for Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW and singer-composer Gabriel Kahane, among others.

    An avid cyclist, Andres can often be sighted commuting astride his 1983 Mercian.
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Audio

"Shy and Mighty"
Timothy Andres
Nonesuch

At a Glance

Tonight’s program features music for two pianos and a newly minted pair of Rock ’n’ Roll Dances by Brad Mehldau, commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

PATRICK ZIMMERLI  Modern Music; Generatrix
Like many of Zimmerli’s compositions, the two works presented here self-consciously mix the contemporary classical and jazz idioms.

TIMOTHY ANDRES  Selections from Shy and Mighty
Three movements from the extensive Shy and Mighty reveal Andres’s interest in putting the gestures and ideas of previous composers in dialogue with his own.

JEROME KERN  “All the Things You Are”
Mehldau has performed this jazz standard often throughout his career, casting it into complex counterpoint in asymmetrical 7/4 time.

KEVIN HAYS  Elegia
The final two-piano work on the program is sculpted by a reflective lament that uncharacteristically rises instead of falls.

BRAD MEHLDAU  Rock ’n’ Roll Dances Nos. 3 and 4
Written specifically for tonight’s performers, the Rock ’n’ Roll Dances are inspired by classical collections of dances, but generate their material from rock-derived grooves. They represent a continuation of Mehldau’s recent foray into writing longer-form chamber-style works.

Program Notes
Brad Mehldau is holder of the 2010-2011 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.
This concert is made possible, in part, by the A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation.
This performance is part of Chamber Sessions III.

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