186

Elan Mehler Quartet: Scheme For Thought

Frederick Bernas 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.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Brownswood Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 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!