Pianist Brad Mehldau and mandolinist Chris Thile have cultivated omnivorous tastes from Bach to Dylan to Radiohead, and their virtuosic covers have a way of not only honoring the source, but enriching it. Jazz and bluegrass have an often overlooked improvisatory link, and listening to them deconstruct and reconstitute Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and Fiona Apple’s “Fast As You Can” exposes a harmonic richness beneath the surface. Through these duo interpretations, they also present a multicultural alternative music history, tracing a common thread between western classical, Irish and American folk, the Beatles, and the jazz tradition. To them, it’s all American.
Wed., Sept. 10, 8 p.m., 2014