All great artists rise to the need of the current moment and pianist Brad Mehldau
, fully aware of our dire need for some sense of order amid a daily barrage of chaos on all possible fronts, rises with Suite: April 2020
a serene, solo recital recorded while sheltering with his family in their home in Amsterdam.
Poignantly (but never to the point of cloying intruder or claustrophobic roommate) Mehldau begins his twelve part suite of sobering, lyrical observations, questions, and asides, with "I. Waking Up," a Randy Newman
styled chorale that sets the stage not only for the music to follow, but also what comes with the new day in a new time and how it leads into the new next.
Being one of us, Suite: April 2020
has its shadowed intimations of pensive nostalgia, ("V. Remembering Before All This," "VII. Yearning); anxiety, ("III. Keeping Distance," the roiling, Phillip Glass inspired "VI. Uncertainty") and, of course, wonder ("II. Stepping Outside," and the elegiac "IV. Stopping, Listening. Hearing.") Mehldau, as his art demands, leaves us on hopeful notes with simple, unadorned renderings of Neil Young's "Don't Let it Bring You Down," Billy Joel's New York love song "New York State of Mind," and Jerome Kern
's "Look for the Silver Lining" where, in a purely ironic twist, he does not resolve the final chord, leaving us . . .
As the snapshot of a time we may never live again or live with for a time, Suite: April 2020
is available digitally and as limited-edition (signed and numbered) deluxe 180-gram vinyl LP for &100. Proceeds will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America's COVID-19 Musician's Emergency Fund. CD and standard vinyl editions will be available September 18, and a portion of their sales will benefit JFA's Fund.
I. Waking Up; II. Stepping Outside; III. Social Distance; IV. Stopping, Listening, Hearing; V. Remembering Before All This;
VI. Uncertainty; VII. The Day Moves By; VII. Yearning; IX. Waiting; X. In The Kitchen; XI Family Harmony; XII. Lullabye;
Don't Let It Bring You Down; New York State of Mind; Look for the Silver Lining.