Konitz/Mehldau/Haden: Another Shade of Blue
Konitz and Mehldau vary the sonic palette by playing "Everything Happens to Me" as a sax/piano duo, with Haden laying out. Konitz solos and "That Old Black Magic" floats by for a second, evaporating as soon as it appears. Mehldau begins his dissection of "What’s New" with a detour into "Young and Foolish," and Haden sticks to him like glue. Consistently, the young pianist provides Konitz with chordal roadmaps that verge on telepathic. Haden solos tenderly on "Body and Soul," on the slow-blues opener "Another Shade of Blue," and on "All of Us," an apt closer based on "All of Me" changes.
This trio represents three generations, and each player in his own way has made bold strokes without abandoning the tradition. Konitz, elder statesman and traditionalist, fit right in with not-so-traditional trumpeter/composer Kenny Wheeler on his 1997 ECM release, Angel Song. (That album, incidentally, also featured a drumless ensemble.) Haden helped birth the avant-garde with Ornette Coleman and yet can play the hell out of the mainstream with pianist Kenny Barron. And Mehldau, with his own extraordinary trio, has made a mark by stretching conventional forms to their breaking point, with increasingly explosive results. Another Shade of Blue, like its predecessor, is an important historical document, showing how three musicians spanning the latter half of jazz’s century have chosen to interpret their inheritance, never once losing sight of what really matters: making beautiful music.
Record Label: Blue Note Records