Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brad Mehldau Wins the Miles Davis Award in Montreal

The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal give this year the prestigious MilesDavis Award to renowned pianist and composer Brad Mehldau. Brad Mehldau becomes the thirteenth winner of the Miles Davis Award, which was created for the 15th edition of the Festival to recognize internationally acclaimed jazz artists whose body of work has contributed significantly to the renewal of the genre.

Bradford Alexander Mehldau was born in Florida in 1970. A child prodigy, he studied classical piano from the age of 6, discovered rock like any teenager and then moved on to jazz. He worked the New York scene for a while before recording Moodswings with saxophone player Joshua Redman and his quartet. He then created the Brad Mehldau Trio, racking up 10 more albums, both solo and in various formations, both live and in studio. He wrote a few film scores, as well, including Eyes Wide Shut and Ma femme est une actrice. The pianist and composer made his mark by integrating pop and jazz, on stage and in studio, and although he sometimes appears to be distancing himself from jazz with interpretations of Radiohead or the songs of Lennon and McCartney, on closer listening you realize he's simple exploring new horizons, searching within himself for new vehicles of expression.

Brad Mehldau is the latest in a series of Miles-Davis prizewinners. He follows Dave Holland (2005), Keith Jarrett (2004), Joe Zawinul (2003), Chick Corea (2002), Michael Brecker (2001), Charlie Haden (2000), Cassandra Wilson (1999), John Scofield (1998), Herbie Hancock (1997), Wayne Shorter (1996), Pat Metheny (1995) and John McLaughlin (1994).
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