Brad Mehldau has been creating furore since his first performances. Initially as part of the Joshua Redman quartet, then with his own trio which contributed to the renaissance of classical formation, and not least with his solo performances. And exactly there is where he proves his virtuousness—a virtuoso who presents the tiniest detail with the greatest devotion, who bestows every single piece with a dramaturgy that creates a never-ending suspense. Whether he uses standards, or classics by Monk or Gershwin, or a song by Nick Drake or Kurt Cobain as source material: His fantasy is exuberant, his improvisation masterful. Like no other in his generation he learnt from the great pianists in jazz history and went on to develop his own language, which is, not least, also borne by grammar from 19th century piano literature. And despite all the theoretical knowledge that Mehldau also possesses – pure sensuality reigns when he is immersed with his piano, leaning far over the keys, solely listening to his ideas. “Mehldau’s music is the thing in itself”, Gregor Dotzauer wrote a few years back for a Brad Mehldau concert in Mannheim, “a highly energetic process, that sluices melodies and particles of motives through most different regions of the piano whilst dismantling the source material almost cubistically: an exercise in avoiding clichés”.