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Quartet CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Mar. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Warner
  • ASIN: B000MRNTKO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,238 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

EAN 075597999402

Amazon.co.uk

The first recorded meeting of guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau, Metheny/Mehldau, was an intimate, almost chamber-like affair, albeit one with some heated improvisations. Quartet, their second meeting, finds them sounding like a stripped-down version of the Pat Metheny Group. But this is a leaner, looser band, with freewheeling support from Mehldau's trio of drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier on all but a couple of tracks. The guitarist and pianist are a good match for Metheny's dramatic and lyrical inclinations, seducing the more angular and cerebral Mehldau like teasing threads from a knot. Mehldau is a pianist of exploratory dimensions, and he gives himself free reign here. There's intimate, Jim Hall/Bill Evans-style duos like "Ring of Life" that you might expect, but also out-and-out free-form electric excursions like "Summer Day" that recall Metheny's 1980s work with Billy Higgins and Charlie Haden on Rejoicing. While maintaining a unified sound, Quartet is nevertheless an album of contrasts, as Metheny drives into his synth guitar on "Legend," tossing in a heavy-metal bridge, but also goes a bit pastoral and medieval on "Ahmid-6," strumming what sounds like a harp-guitar, although it could be his guitar-synth. With deeply empathetic playing and a broad stylistic palette, Quartet never wears thin. --John Diliberto

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By William Burn VINE VOICE on 19 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have for a long time rated Brad Mehldau as one of the most talented pianists playing jazz today, an opinion formed from many listenings to the "Art of the Trio" series of records. Those discs, comprising a mix of live and studio sets, approach the standards repertoire in a loose, richly swinging way that is a source of great refreshment to those who may perhaps have tired of Keith Jarrett's sound.

This record follows on from the very well received release from last year and the two lead men clearly enjoy each other's musical company. Mehldau is as sensitve an accompanist as he is a leader, and Metheny remains a hugely talented guitarist with a very distinctive sound (although it must be noted that one or two of his synth effects appear not to have changed since his days playing in Michael Brecker's groups of the late '80s and early '90s).

The material on show here is all original, and mixes a broad range of styles very effectively: some is reminiscent of Joanna Macgregor's disc of spirituals with Andy Sheppard in the lilting piano grooves that underpin gently undulating solo lines, whereas others is more vigorously driven by Larry Grenadier on Bass and Jeff Ballard on Drums. Stylistically one might describe the music as lying midway between country and jazz, but that has long been Metheny's preferred hunting-ground, and it is very effective in this group context. In fact, Mehldau's straightforward piano, rather than banks of synthesizers, means Metheny's sometime more synth-led sound enjoys more freedom than if it were enveloped in great clouds of sound. One or two tracks do cut loose a little more (En La Tierra Que No Olvida is a good example), but the music stays well within distinct stylistic bounds.
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Format: Audio CD
Not necessarily the best Pat Metheny CD ever but the music contained on MMQ showcases what are, for me, the most personal and satisfying apects of Metheny's playing. The tunes are melodic and the structures lend themselves readily to the Missouri magician's muse. Mehldau is a perfect foil for the older man, in the league of Mays and Hancock, and his rhythm section of Ballard and Grenadier are sympathetic and very much fit for purpose. Ballard particularly shows himself to be musicians dream; dynamic, interactive and subtle.

The material is beautifully rendered and the pace of the CD is a delight. If you like Metheny in a reasonably open blowing session, away from the structures of his work with the Pat Metheny Group, then this is for you. If you like the more conventional aspects of his playing, there if plenty of that but there is room for some of his edgier playing too ('Fear and Trembling'). The 'Metheny synth guitar' makes its appearance.

Linda Manzer's 42-string Pikasso guitar makes an appearance on 'The Sound Of Water' and it is nice to hear this radical instrument beginning to integrate itself into more conventional ensemble playing. 'Don't Wait' is a pretty ballad and both Metheny and Mehldau get to breathe deeply of its treasures. Other highlights are 'En La Terra Que No Olvida', 'Towards The Light' (the patented 'Metheny synth guitar' makes its appearance here) and a revisit to 'Marta's Theme' off 'Passagio Per Il Paradiso'.

A pleasure to listen to and getting better every time!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collaboration between Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau is (for the most part) positive and pleasing. Having been familiar with several of Metheny's solo albums as well as his previous collaborations with John Scofield ( 'I Can See Your House From Here')and 'Beyond the Missouri Sky' with Charlie Haden ,I have noticed a familiar pattern throughout these works that are also evident on this particular album .Firstly this album is full of easily recognisable trade mark Metheny guitar playing/synth guitar playing .Also ,similar to the Scofield and ( to a lesser degree) Haden collaborations ,Metheny's compositions tend to be more melodic and musically dominant as witnessed here. Metheny seems to be the dominant force on these collaborations .However, I am not complaining as I enjoy his work.

Mehldau is no doubt a star of modern Jazz scene but for me his writing isn't as convincing as his superb piano skills .There are several strong compositions on this album . The standard of musicianship is top notch but at times a little bit more taste would have improved several of the songs .EG 'Towards the Light' is spoiled to some extent by overly enthusiastic , increasingly riotous playing after a promising beginning ;the synth guitar playing here also tends to undermine some of the songs as far as I am concerned.The strongest songs here for me are all Pat Metheny compositions they include 'A Night Away' .'Don't Wait' , 'Long Before' and 'Silent Movie'.

In conclusion let me state that I have enjoyed playing this album quite frequently over the course of the last several years and I heartily recommend checking out the aforementioned favoured compositions that I have highlighted .
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Format: Audio CD
Let me be clear: I am a BIG Metheny and Mehldau fan. Big. Bought this CD (MMQ) without thinking once.

Right by the CD player now-- Metheny: PAT METHENY GROUP (from 1978, and I still have the cassette I bought almost 30 years ago!), IMAGINARY DAY, NEW CHAUTAUGUA; Mehldau: DAY IS DONE, HOUSE ON HILL, PLACES; Metheny & Mehldau: Michael Brecker's PILGRIMAGE.

And this CD... it's nice... it's pleasant... it's not new age, not elevator music, not smooth jazz... my English friends would say it's lovely... but...

But it's hard to listen to. I've tried. Again and again I find my mind wandering. There's so little to grab the attention, and so the mind goes inward. Great background music for a party. I could work to it all day long.

And I'm disappointed because I thought Metheny's playing on PILGRIMAGE was just wonderful. Mehldau can thrill even in a trio. Yet MMQ? Nice...

Kirtland Peterson
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