Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Elan Mehler Quartet: Scheme For Thought

186

Elan Mehler Quartet: Scheme For Thought

By

Sign in to view read count
Elan Mehler Quartet: Scheme For Thought
Scheme For Thought was released on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings in September 2007, accompanied by a series of gigs around London, England by pianist Elan Mehler and his quartet. This group has completely abandoned standard notions of jazz: the absence of a drummer and repeated use of arco playing on the double bass give an almost classical and very ambient feeling to this ten-track set.

There is a great deal of subtle harmonic interaction between Mehler and the sometimes ghostly presence of David Moore on Fender Rhodes; it can take several thorough listening sessions to fully appreciate what they're creating. "The Pale 45s begins with a simple bass ostinato and exploratory piano overture, which develops into a basic melody used as a reference point throughout the track. Saxophonist Andrew Zimmerman briefly improvises over a Mehler vamp and the theme then returns, with an extended exchange of ideas between piano and Rhodes building up in tempo and volume.

"Auntie-Biotics features louder, grittier provocation from Mehler while Moore takes a long solo, after a delicate opening with a faintly swinging sax line. Zimmerman is in possession of a soft, malleable and breathy tone, and the clicking of keys on his instrument is frequently audible; it's easy to imagine sitting meters from the action at a smoky little jazz club somewhere in the depths of New York City. Bassist Tod Hendrick is very attentive to the nuances of his colleagues throughout the recording and does not overcrowd their sound with too many notes.

Philosophical references in the disc title are definitely appropriate for this inward-looking and highly contemplative release. The lack of a steady pulse instigates a spiritual, free-flowing quality but an undercurrent of deep intensity is always there. A chance meeting between Peterson and Mehler in a bar in Switzerland has turned out to be a blessing to jazz listeners everywhere.

Track Listing

Little Lost; Christmas Song; Scheme For Thought; The Pale 45s; Muse Suite; Vals; Auntie-Biotics; Ruby D; Head Trick; Elvis Presley Blues.

Personnel

Elan Mehler: piano; David Moore: Fender Rhodes; Andrew Zimmerman: tenor saxophone; Tod Hendrick: bass.

Album information

Title: Scheme For Thought | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Brownswood Recordings


< Previous
Altitude

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Where Did You Go?
Sandman Project
Traumsequenz
Moritz Stahl
The Cold Arrow
Gregorio / Smith / Bryerton
Mosaic
Nicole McCabe

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.