Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE EXCELLENCE OF THE BRAD MEHLDAU TRIO: SPLENDID PERFORMANCES OF ORIGINALS, 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: Ode (Audio CD)
Five BIG Stars!! Exciting, excellent jazz performances. Don't let the title "Ode" fool you, this cooking CD captures one of the tightest, most original trios on the jazz scene today, led by jazz virtuoso pianist & composer Brad Mehldau, with great support & solos from Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums, in mostly blazing, inventive, hard-swinging performances. As explained in the liner notes, this 'all- Mehldau compositions' set contains 'odes' dedicated to family, friends, peers, and even a favorite Jack Nicholson "Easy Rider" movie character. Mehldau uses a thoughtful compositional technique where he writes for each player's strengths, and then lets the performances grow organically into the final rhythmic and harmonic frameworks when they become 'ripe'. The 'best of the best' begins with the tempo-shifting, bluesy "M.B." (for the late, great saxophone titan Michael Brecker) with it's attractive, almost subliminally familiar theme. The lyrical (meta) "Ode" builds beautifully over an insistent Ballard beat. "26" is a sizzling Mehldau performance that cooks for most of the 8 inventive minutes. The quirky "Bee Blues" has Brad playing simultaneous, ambidextrous notes in both theme and solo, with a hip bass solo from Grenadier. The funky "Kurt Vibe" has Grenadier and Mehldau interweaving ideas over Ballad's backbeat. "Stan The Man" has a great Ballad drum solo. And perhaps best of all is "Twiggy" dedicated to Brad's wife, jazz singer Fleurine, which is both beautiful and complex, with Brad's hot solo driven along by a skipping gait, some single note 'comping', and latin accents underneath from Ballad; likewise for "Days of Dilbert Delaney", dedicated to his son, which is 9 minutes of trio cohesion and excellence; and the unique "Wyatt's Eulogy for George Hanson", a wonderful, rather free-ish 5-note invention wherein each player supports and contributes simultaneously. The Brad Mehldau Trio's first studio recording in 7 years is superb, generous in time, and gets my HIghest Recommendation. Five SMOKING Stars! (This review is based on an mp3 download. 11 Tracks; Time: 75:24) (Note: Brad Mehldau won the DownBeat Reader's Poll as top jazz pianist in 2011 and was #3 in the International Critics poll.)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Mar 2012 22:05:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2012 22:06:41 GMT
RSProds says:
The sound samples don't do this recording justice.
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Ode
3.7 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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