Nonesuch Records labelmates mandolinist/singer Chris Thile and pianist Brad Mehldau,
longtime admirers of each other's work, first toured as a duo in 2013.
At the end of 2015, they played a two-night stand at New York City's
Bowery Ballroom before going into the studio to record Chris Thile &
Brad Mehldau, a mix of covers and original songs that Nonesuch releases
on January 27, 2017, on two CDs / LPs. The vinyl edition includes a
bonus performance of Fiona Apple's "Fast As You Can." Pre-orders include
an instant download of the album track "Scarlet Town," written by David
Rawlings and Gillian Welch. You can watch a live performance of the
song from the Bowery Ballroom, directed by Alex Chaloff, above.
"Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau come from different worlds but the same
species," says the New York Times. Mr. Thile "is a progressive-bluegrass
pacesetter; Mr. Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the
last 20 years. Both are team players ... Both love Bach and the Beatles,
and both have developed fan bases bigger and broader (and younger) than
their genre silos can accommodate."
The two musicians first performed together in September 2011 as part of
Mehldau's residency at London's Wigmore Hall. The Guardian said of that
performance, "Mehldau struck up his signature rocking chord vamp over
which lightly struck motifs swell to sensuous extended melodies. Thile
kept cajoling him with percussive snaps, flying runs, and chords
strummed fast enough to sound as seamless as a purring strings section,
inducing Mehldau … to bat back the playful provocation with stinging
MacArthur Fellow and A Prairie Home Companion host Chris Thile is the
founding member of Punch Brothers, which a Boston Globe reviewer called
"the tightest, most impressive live band I have ever seen." The band has
released four albums on Nonesuch beginning in 2008: Punch,
Antifogmatic, Who's Feeling Young Now?, and The Phosphorescent Blues.
Thile's other releases on the label include Sleep with One Eye Open with
Michael Daves; Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile and Bass &
Mandolin—the latter of which won a Grammy Award; a solo record of Bach
violin sonatas and partitas; and A Dotted Line with his longtime band
Nickel Creek. He also recently collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart
Duncan, and Edgar Meyer on the double Grammy Award–winning album The
Goat Rodeo Sessions.
Brad Mehldau's Nonesuch debut was the 2004 solo disc Live in Tokyo and
includes six records with his trio: House on Hill, Day Is Done, Brad
Mehldau Trio Live, Ode, Where Do You Start, and Blues and Ballads. His
collaborative records on the label include Love Sublime, Highway Rider,
Metheny Mehldau, Metheny Mehldau Quartet, Modern Music, and Mehliana:
Taming the Dragon. Mehldau's additional solo albums on Nonesuch include
Live in Marciac and last year's 8-LP/4-CD 10 Years Solo Live, which the
New York Times says "contains some of the most impressive pianism he has
captured on record." Earlier this year, he released a duo album with
Joshua Redman, Nearness, of which the Wall Street Journal said: "Few
records released this year better define what jazz sounds like today,
even if there isn't a hip noun to describe it."