Track ListingClick tracks with speaker icon to listen
|1||Crazy Quilt (Patrick Zimmerli)||6:21|
|2||Unrequited (Brad Mehldau)||6:27|
|3||Generatrix (Patrick Zimmerli)||5:12|
|4||Celtic Folk Melody (Patrick Zimmerli)||2:58|
|5||Excerpt from Music for 18 Musicians (Steve Reich, arr. Patrick Zimmerli)||5:20|
|6||Lonely Woman (Ornette Coleman, arr. Patrick Zimmerli)||6:31|
|7||Modern Music (Patrick Zimmerli)||4:59|
|8||Elegia (Kevin Hays)||6:20|
|9||Excerpt from String Quartet No. 5 (Philip Glass, arr. Patrick Zimmerli)||3:45|
News & Reviews
- Thursday, November 21, 2013
Nonesuch Releases "Mehliana: Taming the Dragon," Debut Recording from Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana Electric Duo, February 11
Nonesuch Records releases the debut album from the electric duo of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, on February 11, 2014. The two have been performing for several years, including a brief US tour this fall, with Mehldau playing Fender Rhodes and synthesizers and Guiliana on drums and effects, as they are on the record. Mehliana comprises 12 original tunes—six written by the duo and six written by Mehldau—and was engineered and mixed by Greg Koller (Jon Brion, Kanye West). The vinyl edition of the album is due March 4. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include an instant download of the album track “Hungry Ghost.”
- Thursday, November 14, 2013
Brad Mehldau kicks off a two-week, 12-city European tour in the new electric duo with drummer Mark Guiliana, Mehliana, in which Mehldau performs on Fender Rhodes and an arsenal of vintage synthesizers while Guiliana accompanies on drums and effects. The Mehliana tour begins with five concerts in France, followed by a set at Barbican Hall in London for the EFG London Jazz Festival and stops in Germany, Italy, Monaco, and Switzerland. You can listen to "Hungry Ghost," off the forthcoming Mehliana album, due in early 2014, here.
About this Album
Nonesuch Records releases Modern Music, a collaboration between pianists Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli, on September 20, 2011. The album features pieces written by each of the three musicians as well as works by Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, and Philip Glass, performed by the two pianists in arrangements by Zimmerli.
This collaboration grew out of the long-standing desire of Mehldau and Hays, friends and colleagues since they both arrived on New York’s jazz scene in the late 1980s, to work together. Both musicians initially came to prominence with stints in early-1990s lineups of Joshua Redman’s quartet before launching successful careers as solo performers and band leaders.
Zimmerli, a mutual old friend, grew up in West Hartford, CT, playing saxophone in the same high school jazz program as Mehldau, who was two years younger. He knew Hays, also a Connecticut native, through music competitions. Zimmerli went on to study composition and has had great success in the contemporary-classical world. Brought into the collaboration as producer, he became the catalyst for the Modern Music sessions, offering repertoire ideas and presenting creative challenges that took Hays and Mehldau well out of their familiar turf.
After moving back east to upstate New York from New Mexico, Hays “dragged an electric piano over to Brad’s house, and we just gave it a go,” as he says. “The project kind of started there.” Among the 20th-century works Zimmerli suggested were Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 5.
Additionally, Zimmerli explains, “We had always planned to include a jazz standard, and after some discussion we decided on Lonely Woman, a tune I’ve always loved, and one for which I had an idea for a big, piano-spanning 20-note-chord approach to the melody. I worked in some minimalist-like motifs in the blowing to keep the arrangement in the spirit of what’s around it.
“We also wanted one original piece each, so I wrote Modern Music, and Brad and Kevin both chipped in preexisting pieces, Unrequited and Elegia, both beautiful melodies with lovely chord changes,” he continues. Three more originals by Zimmerli would eventually be added: Crazy Quilt, Generatrix, and Celtic Folk Melody.
Hays adds, “Patrick’s music is highly structured; the solos are generally a set length, but we opened it up a little. The development comes more through improvisation on Brad’s piece and mine; they’re more like lead sheets.”
Mehldau agrees: “The improvisation was often not in our comfort zone—that is to say, usually, when a jazz musician improvises, he is working intuitively, allowing his intellect to be suspended for a while. This project was different, because Pat set up some unique challenges for us. One example among many: On Modern Music there’s a part that calls for us to improvise in the right hand while playing something written in the left hand. Sounds easy enough on paper, but it proved a real challenge for both of us.”
Zimmerli suggested a recording location with excellent acoustics—Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA—where they recorded Modern Music last fall. Selections from the album were included in a spring 2011 program, Brad Mehldau and Friends, at Zankel Hall as part of Mehldau’s Carnegie Hall residency.
Brad Mehldau & Kevin Hays, piano
Produced by Patrick Zimmerli
Recorded October 2010 at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA
Design by John Gall
Cover image: Classic Landscape (detail), by Charles Sheeler, collection of Barney A. Ebsworth. Image courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
All works composed by Patrick Zimmerli and published by Perepeteia Music (BMI), except track 2 composed by Brad Mehldau, published by Werther Music (BMI); track 5 composed by Steve Reich, published by Boosey & Hawkes (BMI); track 6 composed by Ornette Coleman, published by Phrase Text Music (ASCAP); track 8 composed by Kevin Hays, published by Nivek Yash Music (BMI); track 9 composed by Philip Glass, published by Dunvagen Music (ASCAP).
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz