Brad Mehldau Trio, "A Graceful Powerhouse" (NY Times), Launches Six-Night Residency at New York's Village Vanguard
Brad Mehldau kicks off the New Year in style when he joins his Trio—featuring bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard—for a six-night residency at New York City's famed Village Vanguard, starting tonight and running through Sunday, with two sets each night. "[T]his iteration of his pace-setting trio," writes the New York Times music critic Nate Chinen in recommending this week's shows, "has evolved into a graceful powerhouse, equally savvy about groove and harmony. There’s still no better place to hear the band than the Village Vanguard, a special room for Mr. Mehldau and for his devoted base."
The New Yorker writes of this week's residency: "The pianist Brad Mehldau, who recently released a deluxe boxed set documenting the breakthrough years of his first celebrated trio, is joined by the bassist from those days, Larry Grenadier, but a different drummer, Jeff Ballard, who has proved to be a brilliant replacement for the original percussionist, Jorge Rossy."
The boxed set referenced by The New Yorker preview is The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001, released in December on Nonesuch Records. The seven-disc collection includes the five original Art of the Trio records by the Brad Mehldau Trio, featuring Grenadier and Rossy, released on Warner Bros. over a prolific four year period from 1997 to 2001, plus a disc of unreleased material from shows at the Village Vanguard. The repertoire includes interpretations of standard tunes and modern classics as well as original compositions.
"The piano trio of Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy unquestionably changed the landscape of small group jazz during the period covered by this boxed set," raves the BBC. "Keith Jarrett’s lyricism and Bill Evans’ intellectual approach are both ingredients in Mehldau’s work; but this collection conveys, more than ever, his individual gift of deconstructing standards with surgical precision and then reassembling them as showcases for his keyboard invention," writes the BBC's Alyn Shipton. "It is his genius, his dash of daring, his exceptional touch, and his ability to conceive a performance lasting over several minutes as a compositional entity that mark him out."
Read the complete review at bbc.co.uk.
To pick up a copy of The Art of the Trio Recordings: 1996–2001, head to the Nonesuch Store. For more information on this week's residency at the Village Vanguard, go to villagevanguard.com.