268

Metheny Mehldau: Quartet

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Metheny Mehldau: Quartet Distinguished musicians playing and recording together tells you that the sky will be the limit for its potential. The collaboration between guitarist Pat Metheny and piano prodigy Brad Mehldau was so fruitful that the initial session that gave us the brilliant Mehldau/Metheny duo album, also produced Quartet, with Mehldau's standard Trio joining forces.

The previous duo release gave ample evidence of the two musicians' empathy, sensitivity, and subtlety. It also provided a sneak preview of Quartet, with Larry bassist Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard playing on two tracks. Still, Quartet is not exclusively an album of a quartet playing, as there are several notable duet tracks present.

With so much attention given to detail, the interplay and collaboration between these musicians is fabulous. Impeccable, tasteful, and flawlessly executed, the quartet allows for some combustible moments as both players compliment each other superbly. As with the previous release (and most of Metheny's releases) melody reigns supreme. Whether as a duo or with the band, both musicians are equally adept at lead or rhythm and are among the most melodic musicians on their instruments.

The first track, "A Night Away," steals from both musicians' worlds and combines almost everything I like about this music and particularly these musicians. It has a great theme and is played with great energy. The duo tracks have a rather different feeling, when compared with the first release. It seems that they are more accomplished and fit well within the quartet surrounding. "The Sound of Water" features Metheny's 42 string Picasso guitar taking a layered approach, with its shimmering harp sounds and lush guitarscapes over romantic piano sounds.

But Quartet is not a set of solos with other instrumentalists passively watching. The band plays with great cohesion and that is due in great part to Ballard, whose playing gives a clear example of varied pacing and dynamics. His pounding and Larry Grenadier's pulsating bass lines have untethered Metheny and Mehldau to come up with interesting figures.

The album is full of magical moments such as these. There is warmth and sensibility on "Don't Wait" and "Long Before"; mystic tinges on "Secret Beach"; and Latino influences on "En la Terra Que No Olvida" and "Santa Cruz Slacker."

Metheny has always had a knack for choosing interesting collaborators, and his collaborations are equally important as his solo outings. There are moments when one wishes for a fifth voice within this highly explosive ensemble just to break loose some of the already heard sounds and approaches. Lyrical and sensitive, this is more than just another super jam. It's an excellent album, full of rich textures, cinematic in the best sense and, above all, a musical conversation taken to new heights.

Visit Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau on the web.


Track Listing: Night Away; Sound of Water; Fear and Trembling; So Much Music Everywhere; Towards the Light; Long Before; La Tierra Que No Olvida; Santa Cruz Slacker; Secret Beach; Silent Movie; Marta's Theme (from Passagio per il Paradiso).

Personnel: Pat Metheny: electric guitar, 42-string Pikasso guitar (2), acoustic guitar (4), guitar synth (5,9); Brad Mehldau: piano; Larry Grenadier: bass; Jeff Ballard: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Circles and Landscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Circles and Landscapes
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Mt. Crushmore" CD/LP/Track Review Mt. Crushmore
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!