SORRY, WAS @ SHOW; JUST GOT OUT OF EXISTENTIAL CRISIS; WHERE U AT
Some of my favorite shows are the ones that get me really fired up and make me want to leave mid-show and get to working on music.
However, the even-better shows are the ones that are soul-crushing. They're the tragic shows that make you evaluate everything you've ever done and are currently working on. They're the ones that place you in a moment of a sick existential crisis: "Everything I've done is shit. Why. Bother."
Take the latter, and put me in Disney Hall last Friday for Brad Mehldau's chamber jazz performance of Highway Rider in (save for two pieces) its entirety. Add a Claritin and a pre-show cup of wine and, frankly, I was in Jane Fonda levels of desolation.
I'll spare you the rest of my heartbreak and literal tears, and just mention that this guy has challenged western harmony so boldly that I would not hesitate putting him in the ranks of any Liszts, Debussys, Rachmaninoffs, or Bachs. Highway Rider is the concentration of all Mehldau's challenges -- the moment you feel comfort in beautiful passages, they are interrupted by highly calculated and surprising sonic jagged edges. It's a drug.
Thanks to the LA Times for letting me steal their bandwidth and use their photo.