Cover loving classical pianist Christopher O’Riley is set to release the fourth in his series of reinterpreting rock oriented arists; his first two records tackled the Radiohead catalogue, which he followed with a collection of Elliott Smith tunes. Next in his series of reworking artists with rabid fan bases, Christopher offers Second Grace – The Music Of Nick Drake. Here’s his take on a Drake classic:
Don’t mean to make this a clash of the reinterpreting pianists (of course we do), but the freakishly talented Brad Mehldau has also brought his touch to Nick Drake, reworking the masterful “River Man” (you can hear about it at NPR). And just like O’Riley, Mehldau covers Radiohead, although what Brad does to “Exit Music (For A Film)” (YouTube) is really beyond comparison. Granted they’re coming from different schools, with O’Riley being an acclaimed classical pianist and Mehldau being some sort of jazz-informed virtuoso alien, but they’ve covered enough common ground to draw comparison. Choose your champion.