10 Years Solo Live

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10 Years Solo Live
10 Years Solo Live - album cover.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedOctober 16, 2015
RecordedJune 7, 2004 – March 10, 2014
ProducerBrad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau chronology
Mehliana: Taming the Dragon
10 Years Solo Live
Blues and Ballads

10 Years Solo Live is a recording by jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. It contains solo piano tracks from 19 concerts in Europe during the period 2004–2014.


"Mehldau became a working musician at a time when jazz was engulfed by historicism, and he spent a lot of youthful energy swatting away one presumptive legacy or another. This could be one reason that his solo work deals sparingly with the jazz repertory."[1] "In the late 1990s, Brad Mehldau began turning his refined attention to the exacting art Keith Jarrett had dominated for so long: unaccompanied acoustic-piano improvisation."[2] Mehldau's previous solo piano albums were Elegiac Cycle (1999), Live in Tokyo (2003), and Live in Marciac (2006).

Music and recording[edit]

The tracks are arranged by four themes: "Dark/Light", "The Concert", "Intermezzo/Rückblick", and "E Minor/E Major".[3] Dark/Light "explores versions of Jeff Buckley's 'Dream Brother', which is followed by Lennon/McCartney's 'Blackbird'". In Mehldau's words, "'Rückblick' means a look backward, perhaps a reappraisal. Brahms's Intermezzo movement was a look back at what had taken place in his Sonata before moving to the final movement. Here, the listener is invited to look back to music that was recorded 10 or more years ago, in 2004 and 2005."[3] The final theme uses minor and major variants of a key and references the first theme.[3]

On "Dream Brother", Mehldau lets "a single-note pulse work as an emotional metronome before the layering really begins."[4] "And I Love Her" is given a "fugue-like construction".[4] "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has "pointillistic flourishes, a sound painting sourced from West Coast grunge with a Satie-like sensitivity."[4] On the 2011 version of "Knives Out", "Arpeggios ripple, melodies flit across said ripples, and Radiohead's bluesy electronica is lent the power of Beethoven."[4] "Junk" "has a light danceability about it stemming from just how damn tuneful it is."[4] "Intermezzo in B-Flat Major" "is a kind of behold-these-chops moment, with Mehldau crossing over into classical territory with a virtuosity we’ve been well prepared for by this time."[4]

The performances were recorded in concerts in Europe between June 7, 2004 and March 10, 2014.[5]


Mehldau explained that "the order of songs is not arbitrary, and I have tried to tell a story from beginning to end in the way I've sequenced it."[3]

The original release, of a collection of eight LPs, was on October 16, 2015.[3] The same material was issued as a four-CD collection, and made available by digital download, on November 13 of the same year.[1]


John Fordham of The Guardian commented on the recording's "slew of orchestrally rolling chordwork, tireless trills and corkscrewing contrapuntal playing".[2] In a mixed review in The Daily Telegraph, Ivan Hewett wrote that several tracks "begin intriguingly, but then become gripped by a sense of their own importance, swelling up to an oppressively 'anthemic' weightiness."[6] Nate Chinen, in The New York Times, believed that the release "contains some of the most impressive pianism Mr. Mehldau has captured on record."[1] Nenad Georgievski of All About Jazz noted, "10 Years Solo Live doesn't feel like a compilation of selected performances put together, but the whole repertoire flows into a complete whole. Somehow these sound like a free-flowing single works. It's a beautiful release/box from a unique pianist who continually shows what the piano can do."[7] Jeff Simon of The Buffalo News stated, "...it’s a stupendous collection of a decade of solo piano performances by Brad Mehldau all across Europe that proves that with the death of Michel Petrucciani, Mehldau is the only solo jazz pianist who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Keith Jarrett."[8] Cormac Larkin of The Irish Times wrote, " To listen intently is to engage in the tangle of a great musician’s mind, one whose influence may now be discerned in pretty much every jazz pianist that has come after him. Nothing can replace the thrill of actually being in the room when Mehldau is in the act of creation, but 10 Years Solo Live is a close second."[9]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
All About Jazz[7]
The Buffalo News[8]
The Daily Telegraph[6]
Down Beat[12]
Financial Times[13]
The Guardian[2]
The Irish Times[9]
The Times[14]

Track listing[edit]

Track Title Composer(s) Length Recorded
CD1–1 "Dream Brother" Jeff Buckley 13:34 5 Nov 2013
CD1–2 "Blackbird" John Lennon / Paul McCartney 6:30 18 Sep 2011
CD1–3 "Jigsaw Falling into Place" Thom Yorke / Jonny Greenwood / Colin Greenwood / Phil Selway / Ed O'Brien 11:52 17 Sep 2011
CD1–4 "Meditation I – Lord Watch over Me" Brad Mehldau 8:45 10 Mar 2014
CD1–5 "And I Love Her" Lennon / McCartney 15:59 8 Nov 2013
CD1–6 "My Favorite Things" Richard Rodgers / Oscar Hammerstein II 12:14 16 Mar 2010
CD1–7 "This Here" Bobby Timmons 8:15 16 Mar 2010
CD2–1 "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Kurt Cobain 9:37 16 Mar 2010
CD2–2 "Waltz for J. B." Mehldau 6:05 15 Jul 2010
CD2–3 "Get Happy" Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler 12:31 30 Oct 2010
CD2–4 "I'm Old Fashioned" Jerome Kern / Johnny Mercer 5:20 17 Mar 2010
CD2–5 "Teardrop" Grantley Marshall / Andrew Vowles / Robert Del Naja / Elizabeth Fraser 14:13 9 Jun 2011
CD2–6 "Holland" Sufjan Stevens 11:06 8 Nov 2013
CD2–7 "Meditation II – Love Meditation" Mehldau 5:53 17 Sep 2011
CD2–8 "Knives Out" Yorke / Jonny Greenwood / Colin Greenwood / Selway / O'Brien 11:34 29 Mar 2011
CD3–1 "Lost Chords" Mehldau 9:29 10 Jul 2005
CD3–2 "Countdown" John Coltrane 10:42 10 Jul 2005
CD3–3 "On the Street Where You Live" Frederick Loewe / Alan Jay Lerner 7:08 10 Jul 2005
CD3–4 "Think of One" Thelonious Monk 7:46 5 Aug 2004
CD3–5 "Zingaro/Paris" Antônio Carlos Jobim / Mehldau 10:42 10 Jul 2005
CD3–6 "John Boy" Mehldau 3:35 29 Mar 2011
CD3–7 "Intermezzo in B-flat major, Op. 76: No. 4" Johannes Brahms 2:39 7 Jun 2011
CD3–8 "Junk" McCartney 5:07 17 Nov 2004
CD3–9 "Los Angeles II" Mehldau 5:16 17 Nov 2004
CD3–10 "Monk's Mood" Monk 4:45 17 Nov 2004
CD3–11 "Knives Out" Yorke / Jonny Greenwood / Colin Greenwood / Selway / O'Brien 7:22 17 Nov 2004
CD4–1 "La Mémoire et la Mer" Léo Ferré 10:37 10 Sep 2011
CD4–2 "Bitter Sweet Symphony / Waterloo Sunset" Richard Ashcroft / Keith Richards / Mick Jagger / Ray Davies 15:50 29 Mar 2011
CD4–3 "Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119: No. 2" Brahms 5:06 25 Mar 2011
CD4–4 "Interstate Love Song" Eric Kretz / Robert DeLeo / Scott Weiland / Dean DeLeo 17:58 10 Mar 2014
CD4–5 "Hey You" Roger Waters 11:07 18 Sep 2011
CD4–6 "God Only Knows" Brian Wilson / Tony Asher 16:44 9 Jun 2011



  • Brad Mehldau – piano


Chart (2015) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[16] 92
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[17] 140
French Albums (SNEP)[18] 176
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 59
US Top Jazz Albums (Billboard)[20] 6


  1. ^ a b c Chinen, Nate (October 21, 2015) "Brad Mehldau Evolves in '10 Years Solo Live,' a New Boxed Set". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c Fordham, John (October 15, 2015) "Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live Review – Virtuosity and Ingenuity in Five Hours of Solo Piano". The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b c d e Flynn, Mike (August 13, 2015) "Brad Mehldau Releases 10 Years Solo Live 8-LP Vinyl Box Set". Jazzwise.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Fleming, Colin (December 5, 2015) "Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live". JazzTimes.
  5. ^ a b "Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live (4-CD Set)". Nonesuch. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Hewett, Ivan (October 19, 2015) "Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live, Album Review: 'Admirable'". The Daily Telegraph.
  7. ^ a b Georgievski, Nenad (October 15, 2015). "Brad Mehldau: Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live album review @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b Simon, Jeff (October 27, 2015). "Disc review: Brad Mehldau, 10 Years Solo Live". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b Larkin, Cormac (November 12, 2015) "Album Reviews: The Best of the Week's New Releases". The Irish Times.
  10. ^ "10 Years Solo Live [Box Set] by Brad Mehldau". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  11. ^ Collar, Matt "Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live". AllMusic. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  12. ^ Doerschuk, Bob (January 2016) "Mehldau's Moment". Down Beat. p. 72.
  13. ^ Hobart, Mike (November 13, 2015) "Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live – Review". Financial Times.
  14. ^ Bungey, John (October 16, 2015) "Brad Mehldau: 10 Years Solo Live". The Times.
  15. ^ Garratt, John (17 November 2015). "Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau: Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau". PopMatters. popmatters.com. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Lescharts.com – Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Brad Mehldau – 10 Years Solo Live" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  20. ^ "Brad Mehldau Chart History (Top Jazz Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 January 2016.