Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana: Mehliana

A works outing for members of the Xorg Collective and associates to The Village Underground in trendy Shoreditch to see Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana performing their (mostly) improvisational set as Mehliana. Spiffing!
Cognoscinti will be familiar with these guys as two of the most accomplished musicians around, each having played with a plethora of jazzers and others. I became aware of Mr Mehldau through his association with Pat Metheny, although I must have heard him as a sideman loads before that. And our Phil introduced Mr Guiliana to the Xorg consciousness through Heernt and Avishai Cohen. Any road up, these chaps are doing something quite different from all that with Mehliana. Firstly, just the sound of the keyboards - Mehldau was playing analogue instruments; a Wurlitzer electric piano, with Moog and Prophet synthesizers. Luscious, fruity sounds of their own rather than digital emulations. Guiliana played a proper drum kit, although he did have some weird bit of gadgetry with about twenty identical white buttons on it that did idon'tknowwhat.
Rather than me try to describe the music, here's a recording that some kind person has posted on YouTube of their concert in Antwerp a few days earlier (sound only, 1 hour 20 minutes)

As for the venue, it's a bit of a dump having been converted from some former industrial premises - bare brick walls, concrete floor, and the toilets are squalid. There's no sign outside so you have to deduce that you've found it, the assertive bouncers being the biggest clue.

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