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Guardian: Brad Mehldau Box Set Showcases Trio's "Almost Telepathic Intuitiveness," "Mind-Boggling" Performance

  • Friday, December 16, 2011
    Guardian: Brad Mehldau Box Set Showcases Trio's "Almost Telepathic Intuitiveness," "Mind-Boggling" Performance

    Brad Mehldau’s seven-disc box set The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001, featuring longtime Brad Mehldau Trio bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, is out now on Nonesuch Records and earns four stars in the Guardian. Reviewer John Fordham says that "the trio created a private world for their listeners to get lost in, and this is the definitive representation of it."

    The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001 box set includes the five original Art of the Trio albums (the fifth volume includes two CDs), released on Warner Bros. over a prolific four year period from 1997 to 2001; a seventh disc of previously unreleased material from shows at the Village Vanguard completes the box. New liner notes by Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson include interviews with all three trio members.

    "When a classically trained young piano improviser called Brad Mehldau emerged in the mid-1990s, he quickly established a patient, subtle and richly contrapuntal approach that took jazz piano-trio improvisation to a new level," writes Fordham in the Guardian review. "Mehldau's harmonic audacity and the group's seamless time-shifting skills are clear from Volume One, but it's a debut that looks back as well as forward. By Volume Two (live at the Village Vanguard) the group has developed an almost telepathic intuitiveness that makes the underlying structures seem almost incidental; the version of John Coltrane's uptempo Countdown here is mind-boggling."

    Read the complete four-star review at guardian.co.uk.

    ---

    The Financial Times gives the box set four stars as well. The original recordings "broadened the jazz piano trio’s repertoire and added collective linear thrust," says reviewer Mike Hobart. This collection "documents Mehldau’s virtuosity, austere intellect and ability to enrich the simplest material," says Hobart, "confirming this trio as both yardstick and model for contemporary piano jazz." Read the four-star review at ft.com.

    ---

    Back in the States, the Buffalo News, recommending The Art of the Trio Recordings as a gift this holiday season, describes it "indisputably great."

    The Madeleine Brand Show, out of Southern California public radio station 89.3 KPCC, describes the music on the new box set as "some of Mehldau's most expressive work." The show's music critic Drew Tewksbury draws attention to the set's live discs in particular, explaining: "They showcase the nimble non-verbal communication between these three stellar musicians." Tewksbury concludes: "Mehldau makes renegade jazz, and this comprehensive collection shows him at his finest." Read more and listen to the review at scpr.org.

    Kevin Kniestedt, the jazz host on Seattle NPR member station KPLU, names another recent Nonesuch release from Mehldau, his 2 CD+DVD Live in Marciac solo set, to the No. 1 spot on his list of the 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2011. You'll find his complete list on his blog, groovenotes.org.

    To pick up a copy of The Art of the Trio Recordings box set and any of the albums in Mehldau's Nonesuch catalog, head to the Nonesuch Store, where all CDs are now 34% off standard retail price—bringing the seven-CD box set to just $29.69—as part of the store's fourth anniversary sale.

on December 16, 2011 - 12:22pm
Excerpt: 

The Brad Mehldau Trio’s seven-disc box set The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001, featuring longtime Brad Mehldau Trio bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, earns four stars in the Guardian, which says "the trio created a private world for their listeners to get lost in, and this is the definitive representation of it." The review cites the trio's "almost telepathic intuitiveness" that led to a "mind-boggling" performance. The Financial Times gives it four stars as well, saying it "documents Mehldau’s virtuosity" and confirms "this trio as both yardstick and model for contemporary piano jazz." The Buffalo News calls the set "indisputably great." KPCC says: "Mehldau makes renegade jazz, and this comprehensive collection shows him at his finest."

Copy: 

Brad Mehldau’s seven-disc box set The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001, featuring longtime Brad Mehldau Trio bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, is out now on Nonesuch Records and earns four stars in the Guardian. Reviewer John Fordham says that "the trio created a private world for their listeners to get lost in, and this is the definitive representation of it."

The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001 box set includes the five original Art of the Trio albums (the fifth volume includes two CDs), released on Warner Bros. over a prolific four year period from 1997 to 2001; a seventh disc of previously unreleased material from shows at the Village Vanguard completes the box. New liner notes by Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson include interviews with all three trio members.

"When a classically trained young piano improviser called Brad Mehldau emerged in the mid-1990s, he quickly established a patient, subtle and richly contrapuntal approach that took jazz piano-trio improvisation to a new level," writes Fordham in the Guardian review. "Mehldau's harmonic audacity and the group's seamless time-shifting skills are clear from Volume One, but it's a debut that looks back as well as forward. By Volume Two (live at the Village Vanguard) the group has developed an almost telepathic intuitiveness that makes the underlying structures seem almost incidental; the version of John Coltrane's uptempo Countdown here is mind-boggling."

Read the complete four-star review at guardian.co.uk.

---

The Financial Times gives the box set four stars as well. The original recordings "broadened the jazz piano trio’s repertoire and added collective linear thrust," says reviewer Mike Hobart. This collection "documents Mehldau’s virtuosity, austere intellect and ability to enrich the simplest material," says Hobart, "confirming this trio as both yardstick and model for contemporary piano jazz." Read the four-star review at ft.com.

---

Back in the States, the Buffalo News, recommending The Art of the Trio Recordings as a gift this holiday season, describes it "indisputably great."

The Madeleine Brand Show, out of Southern California public radio station 89.3 KPCC, describes the music on the new box set as "some of Mehldau's most expressive work." The show's music critic Drew Tewksbury draws attention to the set's live discs in particular, explaining: "They showcase the nimble non-verbal communication between these three stellar musicians." Tewksbury concludes: "Mehldau makes renegade jazz, and this comprehensive collection shows him at his finest." Read more and listen to the review at scpr.org.

Kevin Kniestedt, the jazz host on Seattle NPR member station KPLU, names another recent Nonesuch release from Mehldau, his 2 CD+DVD Live in Marciac solo set, to the No. 1 spot on his list of the 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2011. You'll find his complete list on his blog, groovenotes.org.

To pick up a copy of The Art of the Trio Recordings box set and any of the albums in Mehldau's Nonesuch catalog, head to the Nonesuch Store, where all CDs are now 34% off standard retail price—bringing the seven-CD box set to just $29.69—as part of the store's fourth anniversary sale.

Publish date: 
Friday, December 16, 2011 - 10:00
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
Brad Mehldau Trio: "Art of the Trio Recordings" [box set cover]

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