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Thu, Jun 8, 2023

Listen to jazz pianist Brad Mehldau's cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer from his new album Jacob's Ladder

Wed, Mar 2, 2022@10:06AM | comments

Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau will pay tribute to his prog rock heroes with the release of his new album Jacob's Ladder, which is slated for release later this month. The music is inspired by the prog rock Mehldau loved as a young adolescent, which was his gateway to the fusion that eventually led to his discovery of jazz. The album's first single is available for listening on YouTube here. That track is titled maybe as his skies are wide, and builds off an interpretation of one portion of Rush's Tom Sawyer. The album also includes a full cover version of the Rush classic, which Mehldau released for streaming yesterday, and can be heard below or on YouTube here. In addition to the Rush cover, Jacob's Ladder includes covers of songs by Gentle Giant and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. From the press release:

... "The musical conduit on the record is prog," Mehldau explains. "Prog - progressive rock - was the music of my childhood, before I discovered jazz. It matched the fantasy and science fiction books I read from C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle and others at that time, aged ten through twelve. It was my gateway to the fusion of Miles Davis, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and other groups, which in turn was the gateway to more jazz. Jazz shared with prog a broader expressive scope and larger-scale ambitions than the rock music I had known already. ... I tried to avoid a direct tribute approach to all the songs, and opted in some cases for excerpts, or reworking of themes." ...

You can see all the details along with the album's complete tracklist at The album will be available on CD and vinyl on March 18th, and can be pre-ordered here.