Jeff Beck... playing Vienne this summer. Above roaring after a Mahavishnu opening into a Billy Cobham classic completely in the zone at no. 47 with the Vinman, Jason Rebello, and Aussie bass guitarist Tal Wilkenfeld.
The Mehldau trio on the road back-to-back dates in the offing
You cannot really have a glut of Brad Mehldau. Released just eight months ago the pianist’s latest trio album Blues and Ballads found the Keith Jarrett of his generation once again with double bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, a unit that began with 2005’s Day Is Done. There is something about an acoustic piano trio, reinvented in the 1990s and beyond by EST, Mehldau and The Bad Plus. Mehldau tours the world and has done so since first breaking through in the 1990s with the album Introducing Brad Mehldau when he was seen by some as the new Bill Evans, an understandable inaccuracy that he blanched at but I suppose was flattered by however much he might have been embarrassed in all humility. Sometimes the trio is on hiatus when the American is doing other projects, for instance playing solo concerts or accompanying singers such as singer/songwriter Yael Naïm whose song ‘Coward’ featured his very proper, classical introduction and demonstrated how he can shadow a voice and then produce devastatingly baroque flourishes as a complementary side salad without ever detracting from the primacy of the voice in such a context. The Mehldau/Grenadier/Ballard trio return for an English tour from 16-20 May, the genesis of the trio was when Ballard came in for Jorge Rossy to create it after the Art of the Trio unit of which Mehldau, Grenadier and Rossy comprised evolved as the Catalan departed. Ballard (ex-Chick Corea) has influenced a new range of drummers who include the highly in demand James Maddren. To my mind Day is Done is desert island disc Mehldau because it is so dark and gets inside the skin of the Radiohead and Nick Drake songs especially. Dates are: Howard Assembly Room, Leeds, Wednesday 16 May; Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Thursday 17 May; Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Norwich, Friday 18 May; Barbican, London, Saturday 19 May; Bath festival, Bath, 20 May. SG. Info&tickets
Rocking Ballyshannon in county Donegal, Ireland, at Roryfest over 31 May-3 June are Wilko Johnson, Walter Trout and his Band, Wishbone Ash, Seamie O'Dowd, Pat McManus and Johnny Gallagher among the seriously tasty headliners: see the full programme.