Release Date: Mar 20, 2012
Record label: Nonesuch
Genre(s): Jazz, Post-Bop, Straight-Ahead Jazz
This is pianist Mehldau's first trio recording since his 2008 live set at New York's Village Vanguard club, and it's all original, so some regular admirers might feel shortchanged by not being invited to play "spot the pop song" among his usual smouldering buildups and improvisations. But it's full of seductive melody, and in its blues and bop references and surging swing, it's explicitly jazzy, too. The often spindly, casually sown melodies are constantly enriched by Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier and firecracker drummer Jeff Ballard unfolding them collectively.
Piano, bass, and drums. In modern jazz, that is the pedestal, the bandstand, the foundation. A million bands build from there, and a million bands play pretty much the same way. But the seemingly infinite number of rhythm sections in jazz has also produced a flowering of variety and subtlety, from the crashing swirl of Matthew Shipp’s trio to the elegant intelligence of Bill Charlap’s trio to the daring momentum of the Vijay Iyer Trio.
Pianist Brad Mehldau has regularly performed with his trio, which has included bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard since 2004, when the latter replaced Jorge Rossy. As a trio, they've spent relatively little time in the studio together exclusively -- it's been seven years since Day Is Done. On 2010's Highway Rider, Mehldau augmented the group with Matt Chamberlain, Joshua Redman, and an orchestra.
A ceaseless stream of fresh ideas runs throughout this electrically energised session. Martin Longley 2012 After over a decade’s eminence as a piano trio leader, Brad Mehldau began to diversify around five years ago, investigating the possibilities provided by expanded settings. He’s also been devoting more time to completely solo performance. Mehldau’s last studio trio album was released as long ago as 2006, and it’s now been four years since the Live set, recorded at New York’s famed Village Vanguard club.The post-2005 line-up (where drummer Jeff Ballard replaced the long-serving Jorge Rossy) has been comparatively lacking in documentation when compared to the extensive recorded existence of the original trio.
Mehldau is so brilliant at "recomposing" standards that his remarkable talent as a composer is often overlooked. Now, for his trio's first studio album in more than six years, he comes up with 11 absorbing new pieces. Most are impressions of people, real and fictional, but you don't have to know that to follow the unwinding melodies and play of harmonic light and shade.
VCMG “Ssss” (Mute). VCMG is a 30-year reunion of sorts for two synth-pop masters, Vince Clarke and Martin L. Gore, both songwriters who rarely sing. After writing nearly all of Depeche Mode’s 1981 debut album, “Speak & Spell,” Mr. Clarke left the band, going on to start Yazoo (billed Yaz ….