Review: Brad Mehldau, Wigmore Hall

Genre-fluid brilliance from one of the giants of contemporary jazz piano

Contemporary jazz is a world full of magpies – artists who flit between genres and build glittering nests of disparate musical influences. Rock up to a so-called jazz night today and the repertoire can come from anywhere, you’re as likely to hear Jimi Hendrix or J. Dilla as Jerome Kern, and pianist Brad Mehldau has played a role in making that happen.

Over the course of the past twenty years, Mehldau has established himself as one of the most distinctive and influential pianists of his generation, a musician with a healthy lack of respect for musical boundaries. Cast an eye over the tracklist of10 Years Solo Live, a four disc compilation of his work released this year, and you’ll spot “contemporary standards” by the likes of Lennon and McCartney and music by Brahms alongside traditional jazz repertoire – and the pianist’s two sets at Wigmore Hall were just as wide-ranging. Read the rest at theartsdesk.com

— Thomas Rees

— Photo by Simon Jay Price

We Made It: Watchmaker Roger W Smith

The world-leading horologist keeping British watchmaking alive, crafting exquisite timepieces by hand

Long before the Swiss came to dominate the watchmaking world British horologists were leading the way, grappling with miniscule screws and the vagaries of time. In the eyes of many collectors and aficionados they still are, thanks to Roger Smith, who spurns quartz crystals and mass production techniques to make his exquisitely crafted mechanical timepieces almost completely by hand. Read my interview with Roger on theartsdesk.com

— Thomas Rees

— Photo courtesy of Roger W Smith Watches