Oct 7, 2012
Let me preface this posting but saying this – I don’t “get” Radiohead. I’ve seen them live – they opened for R.E.M. – and I’ve listened multiple times to almost all of their albums. I’ve read a ton about their masterpiece, OK Computer, and tried to bring that to my listening. And still – I don’t get Radiohead.
But lots of jazz artists seem to. So since Thom Yorke, the frontman and co-writer of much of the group’s material turns 44 years old today, I thought it was about time to do one of my “Jazzin’ On…” podcasts on the group. If you follow this site, you’ve gotten to hear similar podcasts on Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, the Beatles, Sting, Stevie Wonder and even Heavy Metal. Check them out in the archives.
Click here to listen to musical selections – mostly piano players – including:
Louis Durra – “The Bends” and “No Surprises” from The Best of All Possible Worlds. His piano trio played three nights a week for two years at a “Trendy Los Angeles Club”, the pianist writes in the liner notes to this highly listenable CD, and sought music that would suit the tastes of the patrons while being expressive and interesting for themselves. Mission accomplished. Durra is on piano, joined by Larry Steen on bass and Jerry Kalaf on drums.
Brad Mehldau – “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” from Live at the Jamie Cullum Show. Mehldau should be credited for almost single handedly bringing Radiohead music into the jazz canon. Here he plays solo, recorded at BBC Maida Vale Studios September 2011 for a BBC2 Radio Show.
Tiana Hall & the Mexico City Jazz Trio – “Creep” from Two for the Road. This new release from a talented jazz vocalist on Mighty Pretty Records mixes the Great American Songbook with songs by the likes of 10cc (“I’m Not in Love” and Soundgarden (“Black Hole Sun”) with great success. The band features Agustin Bernal on bass, Miguel Villicana on piano and Gabriel Puentes on drums.
Chris Potter – “Morning Bell” from Underground. In 2006, Potter moved his sound to a more groove-based sonic palette, and included this Radiohead tune. The band is Craig Taborn on Fender Rhodes; Wayne Krantz on guitar; and Nate Smith on drums The broadly talented saxophone player is currently on tour as the mainstay of Pat Metheny’s Unit Band.
Christopher O’Riley – “Fake Plastic Trees” from Tue Love Waits. I’m not sure if O’Riley’s two CDs of solo piano covers of Radiohead material count as jazz, but they are highly enjoyable re-interpretations of a band sound. While Mehldau’s solo piano leans on the jazz tradition, there is something of the stately sound of Western Art Music about O’Riley’s work.
Brad Mehldau – “Exit Music (For a Film)” from The Art of the Trio – Volume 4 – Back at the Vanguard. Mehldau has recorded this song a number of times, both solo and with his trio. I like this one best, which features bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy recorded in the late 1990’s.