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In the liner notes for this fourth installment of Mehldau's Art Of The Trio series, Brad takes issue with the fact that many critics have compared his trio with that of Bill Evans. Well, critics are always looking for stylistic references to hang their hats on and I happened to agree with reviewers when they made those comparisons. However, Mehldau and his trio have changed and evolved since his early recordings and have now established their own, unique voice. Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, have developed a telepathic rapport that allows them to reach into the heart of each composition and explore it in a remarkably complex manner. Along with three Mehldau originals, the repertoire on Back At The Vanguard consists of an eclectic mix of jazz standards and pop tunes. The group also reprises and expands on two tunes that first appeared on Vol. 3 of this series, "Sehnsucht" and "Exit Music (For A Film)." Through it all Mehldau constantly toys with familiar melodies, tinkers with meter and tempo and amazes with a steady stream of inspired improvisations.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.