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Chris Thile And Brad Mehldau On World Cafe

Brad Mehldau (left) and Chris Thile (right) have released a new self-titled duo album.
Courtesy of the artist
Brad Mehldau (left) and Chris Thile (right) have released a new self-titled duo album.

By the time he was a teenager, Chris Thile was already a bluegrass prodigy on mandolin; he's since evolved into a MacArthur Grant-winning, genre-defying musical genius. Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau is equally revered, as his inventive playing has both the critical establishment and packed concert halls singing his praises.

What the two artists have in common as improvisers is, essentially, a disregard of standard genres. They have each recorded Bach and The Beatles; meanwhile, Thile covered the indie-rock band Pavement with Nickel Creek and Mehldau has a well-documented love for Radiohead.

Mehldau and Thile have been exploring their common ground for the past five years, and they released their duo album last week. In this session, they discuss how they think about music and even the lifestyle choices they make to reach great heights: Mehldau practices yoga, while Thile says "Brad's good at getting the toxins out of his body, and I put them in. To each their own."

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.