b. New York, USA. Pianist Mehler’s early influences included some rock groups and many jazz musicians.
Among the latter were Paul Bley, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Bill Frisell, Charles Mingus, Steve Reich and Kenny Wheeler. In addition to his work in the USA, Mehler has also appeared in Europe, including a year’s spell in Paris as musical director at a small club. He also played piano in a hotel bar in the Alps where he was heard by British DJ and record producer Gilles Peterson who encouraged him with a recording contract with his Brownswood Recordings label. His 2007 debut Scheme For Thought included ‘Muse Suite’, ‘Christina’s Song’ and a riveting version of Gillian Welch’s ‘Elvis Presley Blues’. Often deeply introspective, Mehler’s pieces, which artfully blend jazz emotion with classical stylization, draw in his audience through their intelligent and unsentimental romanticism. Members of Mehler’s quartet in the mid-00s included bass players Paul DeFiglia and Tod Hendrick, Fender Rhodes players David Moore and Scott Spivak, and tenor saxophonist Andrew Zimmerman.
A subtle and persuasive pianist with original concepts and style of execution, among the honours bestowed upon Mehler is the International Association of Jazz Educators’ New England composition award.