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Brad Mehldau Trio at Jazz Alley [13 May 2013|01:07am]

I saw the Brad Mehldau Trio (Brad Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, Jeff Ballard on drums) play at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle, WA on 2013-04-30.

They played:

  1. Great Day, by Paul McCartney
  2. Friends, by the Beach Boys
  3. And I Love Her, by Lennon and McCartney
  4. Dexterity, by Charlie Parker
  5. Ten Tune, by Brad Mehldau
  6. My Valentine, by Paul McCartney
  7. Either Dusty McNugget, by Brad Mehldau, or Dear Prudence, by Lennon and McCartney
  8. an encore that I did not write down

I thought it was a great show, although very mellow and obviously heavy on the Beatles. Ten Tune was the best number — spooky, hypnotic, featuring Grenadier's bow work, Ballard's blood-rushing-with-pounding-temple drumming, and emphasis on piano-bass unison phrases. Jazz Alley is one of my favorite spots; I've seen Mehldau play several times at other places, but this was the closest I've sat — close enough to see the reflection of his hands in the polish of the piano, and able to watch over his shoulder most of the time.

It's amazing how unfamous relatively famous jazz musicians are. Grenadier was just out walking in the parking lot before the show started and I don't think anyone else in the line recognized him. During the show, Mehldau told a story about how they'd had an extra day in Seattle because he'd forgotten his passport and so the group couldn't get into Canada to play their scheduled Vancouver gig. Remembering your own passport, that's like something I have to do. Don't they have people for that?

The drinks were terrible. I had a Seattle Sazerac, made with Fremont Mischief Rye and a whole bottle of Peychaud's, but apparently without the necessary sugar/simple. I learned later while tasting at the Fremont Mischief Distillery that I do like the rye, so that wasn't the issue. The distillery did have its own issue — just visiting the tasting room left an unbelievable stink on our clothes. My apologies to the saleswoman for thinking (to myself) that she had an odor problem; when we left the store, the smell stuck to us like B.B.O.

The second drink was a martini made with Bluewater's Halcyon Gin, which seemed to taste like herb butter. But I couldn't really tell, because the whole thing tasted like a glass of vermouth, which it was. I'll have to try the gin by itself sometime. (Does Bluewater know that the first hit for their name is for a septic services company?)

These were just two bad drinks, maybe an off night. Drinks at Jazz Alley have always been fine for me in the past, though they have also always been Manhattans made with Maker's. Anyway, go for the music. I wish the Regattabar would be more like Jazz Alley.

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