Largoby Brad Mehldau
Following eight albums that showcase his prodigious piano skills in the acoustic solo and trio formats, Brad Mehldau -- in collaboration with Jon Brion, producer of Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, and Rufus Wainwright -- expands his timbral palette on the kaleidoscopic Largo. In the process, he finds a cogent platform on which to unite abiding interests in hardcore jazz, classical, and electro-acoustic alternative rock. Navigating an obstacle course of Brion-conceived environments, Mehldau conjures spirited improvisations on eight originals, plus songs by Radiohead ("Paranoid Android"), the Beatles ("Dear Prudence"), and Tom Jobim ("Wave"). He electronically distorts the piano through a Leslie and whammy pedal on "Sabbath"; treats the lower two octaves with putty on "Android" and "Free Willy"; and plays passable vibraphone on two other tracks. Brion, ever the savvy pop aesthetician, keeps the atmosphere fresh from track to track, deploying the pianist's cohorts -- bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy from his trio, plus bassists Derek Oles and Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck); percussionists Jim Keltner, Victor Indrizzo (Beck), and Matt Chamberlain; himself on guitar synth; and woodwind and brass ensembles -- in various combinations and configurations. Fascinating and deeply personal, Largo suits Mehldau's polymath instrumental personality to a tee and may well exemplify an intelligent way for jazz musicians to access the open emotions of pop without neglecting high aesthetics.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsBrad Mehldau Primary Artist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews