23 August 1970, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. Mehldau began playing piano at a very early age, taking formal lessons from the age of six. While at Hall High School in Hartford, Connecticut, he played in the schools popular and noted jazz band. Mehldau attracted attention by winning a competition sponsored by the Berklee College Of Music. Although he studied classical music, he attended the Jazz Program of the New School in New York and also studied with Fred Hersch, Junior Mance and Jimmy Cobb. The latter was among the first of several leaders with whom he played from the early 90s onwards. Around this time, he also began leading occasional small groups. Mehldau has built an enviable reputation in his early career for his use of spacious phrasing and single-note figures and phrases. He chose this approach because it helps to bring more expression to the playing, more depth, particularly with ballads. Others have analogized this technique as...
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