Mehldau plays original compositions, jazz standards and popular music. He has written, played, and recorded as leader of the unchanged Brad Mehldau Trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy for many years. He has also played and recorded solo and with co-leaders Peter Bernstein, Mark Turner, Charlie Haden, and others. In 2004, Mehldau toured with Kurt Rosenwinkel and Josh Redman.
Mehldau is sometimes compared with Bill Evans but dislikes the comparison, explaining why in the liner notes of one of his albums. Also compared to Keith Jarrett, he describes Jarrett's solo work as more inspiration than influence. Mehldau partially lists his influences as Miles Davis, Larry Goldings, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jesse Davis, David Sanchez, and the other two members of his own trio.