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  • Friday, June 3, 2016
    Brad Mehldau Trio's "Blues and Ballads" Out Now; "Sublime Stuff," Exclaims MOJO

    Today marks the release of Brad Mehldau Trio’s Blues and Ballads, the trio’s first new release since 2012’s Where Do You Start, on Nonesuch Records. Blues and Ballads similarly comprises interpretations of songs by other composers, this time with the focus on blues and ballads implied by the album’s title. The Brad Mehldau Trio is Brad Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums. Blues and Ballads, which the New York Times calls "beautiful," is available now at iTunes , Amazon, and in the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include an instant download of the complete album; the album is also available to purchase there in MP3, FLAC, and HD digital formats. You can hear the album track "Little Person" below.

    "Stellar jazz pianist Mehldau again proves that three is the magic number," says MOJO magazine in a four-star review of Blues and Ballads, "resurrecting the trio that has consistently advanced the jazz lexicon in the course of the past 20 years. A spellbinding set whose salient features are subtlety and understatement. Sublime stuff."

    "Brad Mehldau is adept at bending almost any music to the will of the jazz tradition," says the Times of London in its five-star review, and gets "fairly down and dirty on this sublimely satisfying album." Reviewer Chris Pearson cites the trio's take on the Beatles' "And I Love Her" as a highlight, describing it as "Yet another rhapsodic rollercoaster from this master of romantic complexity."

    Brad Mehldau moved to New York City and first came to prominence as a member of current label mate Joshua Redman’s quartet in the 1990s before becoming a bandleader himself. His trio, which tours the world extensively, made eight acclaimed recordings for Warner Bros., including the five widely praised Art of the Trio albums with former drummer Jorge Rossy, which Nonesuch released as a boxed set in December 2011.

    The pianist’s time with Nonesuch has been equally productive, beginning with the solo disc Live in Tokyo and including five trio records—Day Is Done, House on Hill, Live, Ode, and Where Do You Start—as well as a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, Love Sublime; a chamber ensemble album, Highway Rider; and two collaborations with label mate Pat Metheny, Metheny Mehldau and Quartet, the latter of which also includes Ballard and Grenadier. In 2011, Nonesuch released Mehldau’s live solo performance on Live in Marciac and his collaborations with genre-crossing musicians Kevin Hays and Patrick Zimmerli on Modern Music. The following year, Nonesuch released Ode, which went on to be nominated for a Grammy, and Where Do You Start. In 2013, Mehldau was featured as a performer and producer on Joshua Redman’s acclaimed Nonesuch release Walking Shadows. His solo on “Sleeping Giant,” on his and Mark Guiliana’s 2014 Nonesuch album Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo in the 2015 Grammy awards. Nonesuch released the four-CD 10 Years Solo Live in November 2015; later that year, Mehldau received the Wigmore Medal, the first jazz musician ever to do so. Mehldau was also curator of an annual jazz series at Wigmore Hall from 2009 to 2011, and was the first-ever jazz artist to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall, in its 2010–11 season. The Brad Mehldau Trio was named Best International Ensemble at the 2013 Echo Awards, the same year that Where Do You Start was chosen as Album of the Year by the Académie du Jazz.

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Brad Mehldau Trio's "Blues and Ballads" Out Now; "Sublime Stuff," Exclaims MOJO

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on June 2, 2016 - 3:15pm
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Friday, June 3, 2016 - 13:00
Excerpt: 

Today marks the release of Brad Mehldau Trio’s new album, Blues and Ballads, which comprises interpretations of songs by other composers, this time with the focus on blues and ballads implied by the album’s title. "Stellar jazz pianist Mehldau again proves that three is the magic number," says MOJO in a four-star review, "resurrecting the trio that has consistently advanced the jazz lexicon in the course of the past 20 years. A spellbinding set whose salient features are subtlety and understatement. Sublime stuff." The Times of London, in its five-star review, says: "Yet another rhapsodic rollercoaster from this master of romantic complexity."

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Today marks the release of Brad Mehldau Trio’s Blues and Ballads, the trio’s first new release since 2012’s Where Do You Start, on Nonesuch Records. Blues and Ballads similarly comprises interpretations of songs by other composers, this time with the focus on blues and ballads implied by the album’s title. The Brad Mehldau Trio is Brad Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums. Blues and Ballads, which the New York Times calls "beautiful," is available now at iTunes , Amazon, and in the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include an instant download of the complete album; the album is also available to purchase there in MP3, FLAC, and HD digital formats. You can hear the album track "Little Person" below.

"Stellar jazz pianist Mehldau again proves that three is the magic number," says MOJO magazine in a four-star review of Blues and Ballads, "resurrecting the trio that has consistently advanced the jazz lexicon in the course of the past 20 years. A spellbinding set whose salient features are subtlety and understatement. Sublime stuff."

"Brad Mehldau is adept at bending almost any music to the will of the jazz tradition," says the Times of London in its five-star review, and gets "fairly down and dirty on this sublimely satisfying album." Reviewer Chris Pearson cites the trio's take on the Beatles' "And I Love Her" as a highlight, describing it as "Yet another rhapsodic rollercoaster from this master of romantic complexity."

Brad Mehldau moved to New York City and first came to prominence as a member of current label mate Joshua Redman’s quartet in the 1990s before becoming a bandleader himself. His trio, which tours the world extensively, made eight acclaimed recordings for Warner Bros., including the five widely praised Art of the Trio albums with former drummer Jorge Rossy, which Nonesuch released as a boxed set in December 2011.

The pianist’s time with Nonesuch has been equally productive, beginning with the solo disc Live in Tokyo and including five trio records—Day Is Done, House on Hill, Live, Ode, and Where Do You Start—as well as a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, Love Sublime; a chamber ensemble album, Highway Rider; and two collaborations with label mate Pat Metheny, Metheny Mehldau and Quartet, the latter of which also includes Ballard and Grenadier. In 2011, Nonesuch released Mehldau’s live solo performance on Live in Marciac and his collaborations with genre-crossing musicians Kevin Hays and Patrick Zimmerli on Modern Music. The following year, Nonesuch released Ode, which went on to be nominated for a Grammy, and Where Do You Start. In 2013, Mehldau was featured as a performer and producer on Joshua Redman’s acclaimed Nonesuch release Walking Shadows. His solo on “Sleeping Giant,” on his and Mark Guiliana’s 2014 Nonesuch album Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo in the 2015 Grammy awards. Nonesuch released the four-CD 10 Years Solo Live in November 2015; later that year, Mehldau received the Wigmore Medal, the first jazz musician ever to do so. Mehldau was also curator of an annual jazz series at Wigmore Hall from 2009 to 2011, and was the first-ever jazz artist to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall, in its 2010–11 season. The Brad Mehldau Trio was named Best International Ensemble at the 2013 Echo Awards, the same year that Where Do You Start was chosen as Album of the Year by the Académie du Jazz.

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Brad Mehldau Trio: "Blues and Ballads" [cover]

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