Suite: April 2020

Submitted by nonesuch on Mon, 05/18/2020 - 18:08
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Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

While sheltering at home with his family during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brad Mehldau wrote twelve new songs about what he was experiencing; he was able to record them safely in a studio, together with tunes by Neil Young, Billy Joel, and Jerome Kern that mean a great deal to him, for this album, Suite: April 2020. Includes download of sheet music PDF for the piece “remembering before all this.”

Description

While sheltering at home with his family in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, pianist and composer Brad Mehldau wrote twelve new songs about what he was experiencing; he was able to record them safely in an Amsterdam studio, together with interpretations of three tunes that mean a great deal to him personally. The resulting solo album, Suite: April 2020, was released on June 12, 2020, as a limited-edition deluxe 180-gram vinyl LP and digitally. One thousand numbered and signed copies, available for $100, with a minimum of $90 from each sale will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musician’s Emergency Fund (after distribution fees), have now sold out. The CD and standard vinyl were released on September 18. A video for the album track “remembering before all this,” with an introduction by Mehldau, is available below; sheet music for the song is included with Nonesuch Store orders.

As Mehldau says, “Suite: April 2020 is a musical snapshot of life the last month in the world in which we’ve all found ourselves. I’ve tried to portray on the piano some experiences and feelings that are both new and common to many of us. In ‘keeping distance,’ for example, I traced the experience of two people social distancing, represented by the left and right hand—how they are unnaturally drawn apart, yet remain linked in some unexplainable, and perhaps illuminating way. As difficult as COVID-19 has been for many of us, there have been moments of revelation along the way. ‘stopping, listening: hearing’ highlights that moment as well.

“I’ve pointed to some of the strong feelings that have arisen the past month or more: ‘remembering before all this’ expresses a bittersweet gut-pain that has hit me several times out of the blue, when I think back on how things were even just a few months ago, and how long ago and far away that seems now; ‘uncertainty’ hits on the feeling that can follow right after that—a hollow fear of an unknown future,” he continues.

“There’s also been a welcome opportunity to connect more deeply with my family than we ever have, because of the abundant time and close proximity. The last three pieces hit on that connection—the harmony we find with each other, making meals together or just horsing around. ‘Lullaby’ is for everyone who might find it hard to sleep now.”

“Neil Young’s words in ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ have always been counsel for me, now more than ever, when he instructs: ‘Don’t let it bring you down/It’s only castles burning / Find someone who’s turning / And you will come around.’ Billy Joel’s ‘New York State of Mind,’ a song I’ve loved since I was nine years old, is a love letter to a city that I’ve called my home for years, and that I’m far away from now. I know lots of people there and miss them terribly, and I know how much that great city hurts right now. I also know that it too will come around.”

The generosity of many involved in this record has allowed all of the proceeds from the deluxe vinyl to be donated to JFA: With the support from direct-to-disc label Night Dreamer, Holland’s Record Industry pressed the vinyl quickly at no cost and Copenhagen Vinyl will waive handling fees for order fulfillment. Package designer Barbara deWilde also donated her services.

ns_album_releasedate
Album Status
Artist Name
Brad Mehldau
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Brad Mehldau, piano

reissues?
new-release
Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
Signed, Limited-Edition LP + MP3
UPC
075597919264
Label
96/24 HD FLAC
Price
10.00
UPC
075597918984
Label
LP + MP3
Price
17.00
UPC
075597919332
Label
CD + MP3
Price
13.00
UPC
075597919356
Label
MP3
Price
9.00
UPC
075597918991

News & Reviews

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  • The members of the legendary original 1990s Joshua Redman Quartet—Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade—who reunited after twenty-six years for the 2020 album RoundAgain, return now with LongGone, out now. The new album features original Redman compositions from the RoundAgain recording sessions, plus a live performance “Rejoice,” captured by SFJAZZ at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. "Musical soulmates reunite to stunning effect," the Guardian exclaims, naming LongGone its Jazz Album of the Month.

  • About This Album

    While sheltering at home with his family in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, pianist and composer Brad Mehldau wrote twelve new songs about what he was experiencing; he was able to record them safely in an Amsterdam studio, together with interpretations of three tunes that mean a great deal to him personally. The resulting solo album, Suite: April 2020, was released on June 12, 2020, as a limited-edition deluxe 180-gram vinyl LP and digitally. One thousand numbered and signed copies, available for $100, with a minimum of $90 from each sale will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musician’s Emergency Fund (after distribution fees), have now sold out. The CD and standard vinyl were released on September 18. A video for the album track “remembering before all this,” with an introduction by Mehldau, is available below; sheet music for the song is included with Nonesuch Store orders.

    As Mehldau says, “Suite: April 2020 is a musical snapshot of life the last month in the world in which we’ve all found ourselves. I’ve tried to portray on the piano some experiences and feelings that are both new and common to many of us. In ‘keeping distance,’ for example, I traced the experience of two people social distancing, represented by the left and right hand—how they are unnaturally drawn apart, yet remain linked in some unexplainable, and perhaps illuminating way. As difficult as COVID-19 has been for many of us, there have been moments of revelation along the way. ‘stopping, listening: hearing’ highlights that moment as well.

    “I’ve pointed to some of the strong feelings that have arisen the past month or more: ‘remembering before all this’ expresses a bittersweet gut-pain that has hit me several times out of the blue, when I think back on how things were even just a few months ago, and how long ago and far away that seems now; ‘uncertainty’ hits on the feeling that can follow right after that—a hollow fear of an unknown future,” he continues.

    “There’s also been a welcome opportunity to connect more deeply with my family than we ever have, because of the abundant time and close proximity. The last three pieces hit on that connection—the harmony we find with each other, making meals together or just horsing around. ‘Lullaby’ is for everyone who might find it hard to sleep now.”

    “Neil Young’s words in ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ have always been counsel for me, now more than ever, when he instructs: ‘Don’t let it bring you down/It’s only castles burning / Find someone who’s turning / And you will come around.’ Billy Joel’s ‘New York State of Mind,’ a song I’ve loved since I was nine years old, is a love letter to a city that I’ve called my home for years, and that I’m far away from now. I know lots of people there and miss them terribly, and I know how much that great city hurts right now. I also know that it too will come around.”

    The generosity of many involved in this record has allowed all of the proceeds from the deluxe vinyl to be donated to JFA: With the support from direct-to-disc label Night Dreamer, Holland’s Record Industry pressed the vinyl quickly at no cost and Copenhagen Vinyl will waive handling fees for order fulfillment. Package designer Barbara deWilde also donated her services.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Brad Mehldau, piano

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