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Elegiac Cycles
Brad Mehldau
Elegiac Cycles
Genres: Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Brad Mehldau is a pianist with a reputation for Bill Evans-style quietude. On Elegiac Cycle, Mehldau's first solo piano outing, that tendency toward melancholy meets up with his rather obvious classical influences (Brahms,...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Brad Mehldau
Title: Elegiac Cycles
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
Original Release Date: 6/8/1999
Release Date: 6/8/1999
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 093624735724, 603497092864

Synopsis

Amazon.com essential recording
Brad Mehldau is a pianist with a reputation for Bill Evans-style quietude. On Elegiac Cycle, Mehldau's first solo piano outing, that tendency toward melancholy meets up with his rather obvious classical influences (Brahms, Chopin, Satie) for a round of nine haunting and radiant originals. Mehldau's touch has always been light and deft, and those qualities are brought to the front on these gently searching, often mournful compositions. Aside from simply being a piece of gorgeous piano music--which it certainly is--this album offers more. The wonder occurs when Mehldau gracefully introduces brief, glimmering bits of the other side of his persona--a rambunctious improvisational glee. In this context, that spark buoys these tunes and allows light to shine upon them. Rather than facing a set of dark, brooding compositions, Mehldau inserts that indefinable spirit known as jazz into the soul of these melodies, transforming the sullen into the warmly comforting and recasting the sadness of these elegies as tributes to the spirit. A wonderfully moving and human effort. --S. Duda

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CD Reviews

Elegiac Cycle - a solo piano landmark
Pieter de Rooij (37) | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | 01/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Finally there's a piano solo album in my collection that can match Keith Jarret's `Facing You' (1971). It's Brad Mehldau's `Eligiac Cycle'. Haven't heard such a great piano solo album in years. `Eligiac Cycle' -released in 1999- was a revelation to me. This guy's playing takes your breath away. On `Elegiac Cycle' Mehldau plays improvisations inspired by the theme of `loss'. His playing is daring and adventurous, and because he has a perfect sense of structure as well, he never gets lost and keeps everything in perfect balance. And on top of this, his playing is deeply moving. In Mehldau's playing we can discern a lot of influences from the realms of classical and jazz music. I hear a lot of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, but, much more important, I hear foremost a pianist with a distinct style of his own. His classical training seems to contribute to this distinctness of his playing. On `Elegiac Cycle' I hear the influence of Bach's contrapunt, especially in `Memory Tricks'. I hear a bit of Debussy in `Rückblick', and each and every time it's a big sensation to hear the opening and ending-segment of `Trailer Park Ghost', which sounds in my ears as the perfect blending of the enraged energy of Schubert's `Der Strom' and the odd-mystical melodic intervals in the middle section of Scriabin's piano-piece `Poème vers la flamme'. Brad Mehldau's `Elegiac Cycle' is my favourite album of 1999, and most certainly one of my all time favourite albums. It's a masterpiece, and nobody with a serious interest in good and enriching contemporary piano music can afford to miss this album. Pieter de Rooij. Amsterdam, january 22nd - 2000."
A star is born !
Pieter de Rooij (37) | 08/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"** "Bill Evans" with complex emotions and feelings - the deep Bill Evans** "Keith Jarrett" without the humming The is the very best of Brad Mehldau (for the moment) ! If you like to dream while listening to Jazz, then this CD must become yours.I've recently attended a solo-concert of B.M. (North Sea Jazz '99 - The Hague / The Netherlands) and I can assure you... there's plenty more where that came from, we ain't see nothing yet ! He played various songs written by rock artists like Metalica and Rage-Against-The-Machine, and I got to give it to them... they write great JAZZ !Buy this CD, the man's on his best SOLO and the commercial success of his first SOLO CD could influence him on making a second, and that's what we're all waiting for !!Meanwhile, whenever he's playing live somewhere close towhere you live, don't hesitate !! Close your eyes and "fly away" !"
The Brilliance of Keith Jarrett Without the Moaning
Pieter de Rooij (37) | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had never heard of Brad Mehldau before purchasing this CD, but I can assure you I will hear more of him now. His work is brilliant - constant change-ups, modulations, variations in technique - without wearing you out as the listener. As much as Keith Jarrett's music intrigues me, for instance, I cannot listen to him for long before wanting to remove the CD and break it in half - he's just too distressing to the human psyche. Mehldau, on the other hand, has just as much intellectual stimulation without the pain. I can't wait to listen to this CD a hundred or so more times."