243

Brad Mehldau: House On Hill & Metheny Mehldau

By

Sign in to view read count








Brad Mehldau
House On Hill
Nonesuch
2006


Pat Metheny Brad Mehldau
Metheny Mehldau
Nonesuch
2006




Although Brad Mehldau's mastery of the standard jazz repertoire is a significant source of his popularity, it is but one facet of his talent. Mehldau's importance as a composer has been overlooked, perhaps because his distinctiveness as an improvisor is more easily recognized on familiar material. Culled from the session that produced Anything Goes, on which the pianist interpreted both classic and modern popular material, House On Hill offers a compelling insight into Mehldau's compositional capabilities. Taken together with his collaboration with Pat Metheny, a superior representation of the breadth of his talent comes to light.

Mehldau addresses the problematic nature of combining composition and improvisation in the notes to House On Hill and the disc's nine compositions achieve this goal with laudable aplomb. The trio, featuring bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, is well integrated and possesses a flowing quality that reflects the pianist's classical background, as well as his romanticism. And while his playing exhibits resemblances to similarly-minded pianists such as Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal and Keith Jarrett, they in no way overshadow his own personal voice. Mehldau's virtuosic technique serves him well in navigating his intelligently constructed pieces, without a hint of ostentation. His solos follow logically from the thematic material and the music's seeming simplicity and implicit spaciousness makes it a pleasure to hear.

Metheny Mehldau is a momentous meeting on which the pianist shares the spotlight with the great guitarist on eight delicately delineated duets, plus a pair of quartet outings that add bassist Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. From the opening strains of Mehldau's "Unrequited , the simpatico between the two leaders is unmistakably apparent and the demarcation between soloist and accompanist rendered moot. Metheny's rhythmic "Ahmid-6 and dreamy "Summer Day could have been written for Mehldau and he plays them as if they were his own, blending beautifully with the guitarist. The quartet rendering of Metheny's "Ring Of Life , with its rocking rhythm, offers contrasting views of the pianist - one spare, the other powerful. The remainder of the album, five duo pieces - two by Mehldau and three by Metheny - plus a quartet version of the latter's "Say The Brother's Name - return to the expansive mood of the earlier tracks and both players further display their crafty melodicism and impressive harmonic and rhythmic acuity to complete this enjoyable endeavor.


Tracks and Personnel

House On Hill

Tracks: August Ending; House on Hill; Bealtine; Boomer; Backyard Mehldau; Fear and Trembling; Embers; Happy Tune; Waiting for Eden .

Personnel: Brad Mehldau: piano; Larry Grenadier: bass; Jorge Rossy: drums.

Metheny Mehldau

Tracks: Unrequited; Ahmid-6; Summer Day; Ring of Life; Legend; Find Me in Your Dreams; Say the Brother's Name; Bachelors III; Annie's Bittersweet Cake; Make Peace.

Personnel: Pat Metheny: guitar; Brad Mehldau: piano.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August Rosenbaum Multiple Reviews The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 13, 2017
Read A Sense of Place Multiple Reviews A Sense of Place
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2017
Read David Murray Octets on Black Saint Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read New and Notable Releases Multiple Reviews New and Notable Releases
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 4, 2017
Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF" Multiple Reviews Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas" Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "David Murray Octets on Black Saint" Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Roots In The Green Mountains" Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, & Vinnie Zummo" Multiple Reviews Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, &...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.