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Largo
     

Largo

by 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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
Could be the curveball jazz album of the year.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/13/2002
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0093624811428
catalogNumber:
48114

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