Placesby Brad Mehldau
This is a lovely album. A grand piano rarely sings so beautifully as it does in the presence of Brad Mehldau.Places, really a suite of linked variations,is full of moments of soaring, unabashed lyricism. There is no room for harsh dissonance in Mehldau's vocabulary, only fluid lyricism. And his melodies dip and glide and soar in triple meter -- he loves the/i>… See more details below
This is a lovely album. A grand piano rarely sings so beautifully as it does in the presence of Brad Mehldau.Places, really a suite of linked variations,is full of moments of soaring, unabashed lyricism. There is no room for harsh dissonance in Mehldau's vocabulary, only fluid lyricism. And his melodies dip and glide and soar in triple meter -- he loves the jazz waltz, that most infectious time signature which never seems capable of coming to rest on the ground. About half the numbers are solos, on the rest, Mehldau is supported by a trio. There is little sense of disruption as the solo and trio numbers alternate; Larry Grenadier does a perfect imitation of Mahldaus own left hand on the bass, which merely frees Mahldau up to concentrate on the upper register. Jorge Rossy's drum work is unintrusive and tasteful -- brushes, cymbals, and a gentle tom tom just where they should be to support Mehldau's voice. The spotlight throughout is on the lambent melodic runs in Mehldau's right hand, melodies which usually begin with a burst of brightness only to turn poignantly to shades of sadness and longing. There is an isolated bluesy turn in "29 Psalms," but for the most part Mehldau's playing is informed less by the blues than by classical music. Moments in "Los Angeles II" are actually reminiscent of a Chopin etude - with Mehldaus rapidly shifting, rolling bass runs and fills over an isolated, singing right hand. In other places, the rolling triple meters and plangent melodies bring to mind a Mendelsohn barcarolle. Few musicians can evoke fragile, troubling emotions with such grace and unfailing refinement.Very highly recommended.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsBrad Mehldau Primary Artist,Piano
Larry Grenadier Bass
Jorge Rossy Drums
Technical CreditsBrad Mehldau Producer,Art Direction
Bernie Kirsch Engineer
Lawrence Azerrad Art Direction
Michael Davenport Executive Producer
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This is an exceptional out pouring of original compositions from Brad Mehldau. ''Paris'' is one of the few recordings in this world, bearing that name, that actually capture the subtle passion, and dominating essence of one of the world's finest cities. Brad's playing is melancholic and patient and enough to carry you through an entire evening totally encapsulated by his piano without ever noticing it is there. Along with keith Jarrett's The Melody At Night With You, John McArthur's, ''HIDDEN'' and Lyle Mays, ''Solo Improvisations for Expanded Piano'' this is one of the greatest solo piano albums in the last ten years. Get it. It will live with you for a long time. And take you to places you will feel like you have always known.