On Seymour Reads the Constitution!, Brad Mehldau Trio performs three Mehldau originals combined with interpretations of pop songs (Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson), jazz tunes (Elmo Hope, Sam Rivers), and the American songbook (Frederick Loewe). "This is sumptuous, collective improvisation of the highest order," exclaims The Arts Desk. "It's so good, it sounds effortless ... Gorgeous." Grammy Award Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Improvised Jazz Solo.
Grammy Award Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Brad Mehldau Trio's Seymour Reads the Constitution! was released May 18, 2018, on Nonesuch Records. The pianist and his longtime trio, which includes drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier, perform three Mehldau originals combined with interpretations of pop songs (Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson), jazz tunes (Elmo Hope, Sam Rivers), and one work from the American songbook (Frederick Loewe's "Almost Like Being in Love").
The Trio's previous release, Blues and Ballads (2016), received critical acclaim, with the Guardian saying, "Mehldau is a genius (and a still-improving one) at taking predictable materials to unpredictable destinations … These are old songs subjected to an old jazz method, but brought scintillatingly into the here and now." Mehldau released the solo album After Bach earlier this year; the album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Album chart, comprises the pianist/composer's recordings of four preludes and one fugue from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, each followed by an "After Bach" piece written by Mehldau and inspired by its WTC mate. The Financial Times said of After Bach, "As each piece gathers momentum, fresh melodies emerge, change shape and are developed anew over voicings that shimmer, fade and rumble to a peak. And, following Bach, Mehldau's improvisations unfold with an iron inner logic, a reminder … that Bach, in his day, was admired more for his abilities as an improviser than for his written scripts."
Produced by Brad Mehldau
Recorded and Mixed by James Farber at Avatar Studios, New York, NY
Assistant Engineers: Aki Nishimura, Tim Marchiafava
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York, NY
Production Coordinator: Tom Korkidis
Design by John Gall
Cover Photograph by Mitch Epstein
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Brad Mehldau, piano
Larry Grenadier, bass
Jeff Ballard, drums