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  • LA PHIL PRESENTS PAT METHENY AND BRAD MEHLDAU FOR A NIGHT OF IMPROVISATIONAL JAZZ AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
  • Mar. 24, 2007
  • Quartet Features Drummer Jeff Ballard and Bassist Larry Grenadier

    SATURDAY, MARCH 24 AT 8 PM

    Media support provided by KKJZ

    In a meeting of jazz giants, guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau, with drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier, perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. in support of the critically acclaimed 2006 release Metheny Mehldau and highly anticipated 2007 release Quartet.

    Primarily a duet record, Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau's debut release, Metheny Mehldau, is an esteemed collaboration not only regarded by jazz enthusiasts who have longed for this idyllic partnership, but also by Metheny and Mehldau. Metheny himself refers to Mehldau as "…the major young jazz musician of his generation." Mehldau says of Metheny, "Having the chance to make music with Pat Metheny has been nothing short of a dream come true for me. Pat is one of the musicians who made me want to play jazz from an early age. "

    The end result is not only unanimous critical praise, but also a forceful partnership just beginning to explore the limitless musical possibilities that lay ahead. All About Jazz describes Metheny Mehldau as "a compelling meeting of two strong musical minds whose differences actually add up to greater strength." On March 13, 2007 Nonesuch Records releases Quartet, the second collaboration between Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau, which also features drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier.

    PAT METHENY first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility - a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional "jazz guitar" sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument. Metheny's versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Milton Nascimento, and David Bowie. He has been part of a writing team with keyboardist Lyle Mays for more than twenty years - an association that has been compared to the Lennon/McCartney and Ellington/Strayhorn partnerships by critics and listeners alike. Metheny's body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical. It is one thing to attain popularity as a musician, but it is another to receive the kind of acclaim Metheny has garnered from critics and peers. Over the years, Metheny has won countless polls and awards, including three gold records for (Still Life) Talking, Letter from Home, and Secret Story. He has also won sixteen Grammy Awards spread out over a variety of different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, and Best Instrumental Composition. The Pat Metheny Group won an unprecedented seven consecutive Grammys for seven consecutive albums.

    BRAD MEHLDAU is a jazz pianist who has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990's. He has worked primarily with the same trio since 1995, featuring bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy. Since 1996, they have released a series of five records on Warner Brothers entitled The Art of the Trio. Mehldau also has a solo piano recording entitled Elegiac Cycle, and a record called Places that includes both solo piano and trio songs. Both recordings are "concept albums" made up of exclusively original material with central themes that hover over the compositions. There is also Largo, a collaborative effort with musician and producer Jon Brion. Mehldau's most recent release, Anything Goes, is a return to the trio with Grenadier and Rossy. Mehldau has performed around the world at a steady pace with his trio and as a solo pianist. He has attracted a sizeable following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance. Mehldau has also performed and recorded with a number of great jazz musicians, including Joshua Redman, Charlie Haden, and Lee Konitz, and recording as a sideman with the likes of Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. For more than a decade, he has played and recorded with several musicians including guitarists Peter Bernstein and Kurt Rosenwinkel, and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner. Mehldau has also appeared 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 Wender's Million Dollar Hotel. He composed an original soundtrack for the French film, Ma Femme Est Une Actrice. Mehldau was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to produce a work for voice and piano, which was performed in the Spring of 2005 with the great classical soprano Renee Fleming.

    JEFF BALLARD grew up in Santa Cruz, California and began playing drums at the age of 14. He toured with Ray Charles from 1988 - 1990, after which he moved to New York. Since then, he has played and/or recorded with Lou Donaldson, Chick Corea, Buddy Montgomery, Mike Stern, Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Joshua Redman to name only a few. He is a member of the Brad Melhdau Trio, and co-leader of the collective group FLY, featuring Mark Turner and Larry Grenadier. Jeff continues to play with Chick Corea, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and others.

    LARRY GRENADIER began playing bass when he was 11 years old. As a teenager in the San Francisco Bay area, Larry played with Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson among many others. He graduated from Stanford University in 1989 with a degree in English Literature. In 1990, Larry moved to Boston to play with Gary Burton's band. In 1991 he moved to New York City where he played in the bands of Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez, Tom Harrell, Joe Henderson, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, Charles Lloyd and Brad Mehldau as well as recording dozens of records. Larry is a member of the collective trio, FLY, along with Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard. Their first recording for Savoy was released in January 2004.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007 AT 8:00 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Jazz Series

    PAT METHENY AND BRAD MEHLDAU

    PAT METHENY, guitar

    BRAD MEHLDAU, piano

    JEFF BALLARD, drums

    LARRY GRENADIER, bass

    Media support provided by KKJZ

    Tickets ($33-$93) are on sale now online at LAPhil.com, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3408, acrane@laphil.org; Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689, lbellamore@laphil.org; Photos: 213.972.3034