Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Introducing Brad Mehldau
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
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N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 08/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm in the odd position of really liking this album while having serious misgivings about Mehldau's work in general. Some of his later work suggests a musician who could use some restraint--I saw a concert of his here in Toronto recently which started out wonderfully (an unpremeditated open-form improvisation which rivalled Lennie Tristano's "Becoming" as a transfiguring warm-up) but eventually became too unrelievedly virtuosic (the music critic in the paper the next day chided Mehldau for moments where he became "a human music-box"). I find his solos on _Alone Together_, his album with Konitz & Haden, truly irritating.And yet....it would take a determinedly tin ear not to find the man a fresh & welcome presence on the jazz scene, one of the few younger players to work squarely within the jazz mainstream & yet sound entirely & compellingly original. He's digested the entire keyboard literature whole--both classical & jazz, notably the instances of Evans, Jarrett & Corea, I think--& come out on top.Whatever my ambivalences, I'm not ambivalent about this album: it's a truly stunning debut, & one of the best jazz albums of the 1990s. It kicks off with an insouciant version of "It Might as Well Be Spring"--it's indeed wonderfully bucolic, & it took me a few listens until I noticed that he's given it an understated off-kilter lilt by performing it in 7/8. Works just fine. The album is a mix of his originals (I especially like "Angst") & some shrewdly chosen standards--as usual with Mehldau, the originals are fairly straightforwardly done while the standards inspire him to his most intricate & far-reaching playing. "My Romance" goes Bill Evans one better in terms of daringly slow tempos--it's performed with the melody & chords at half-speed, & it's utterly remarkable. "Prelude to a Kiss" is similarly remarkable. "From This Moment On" is performed in a coyly dissonant mid-tempo arrangement with some unexpected Latin interludes spliced in; it stutters for a moment, & then breaks into a furious uptempo for Mehldau's solo. What's impressive here & throughout is Mehldau's preference for sparseness in his solos: they're technically extremely impressive, but he doesn't simply fill up all the available space with notes.Great stuff. Half the album features the rhythm section which Mehldau has continued to work with throughout his career (Larry Grenadier on bass, Jorge Rossy on drums); the other half has the more stellar names of Christian McBride & Brian Blade; they provide excellent support, though it's clear that Mehldau's regular team permits him a much more daringly dialogic & oblique trio music than the hired guns can. But basically the album is a pleasure from first to last."
A fantastic debut for the newest big name in jazz piano
musicman61 | Evanston, IL United States | 01/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brad Mehldau's "Introducing Brad Mehldau" sounds like it should be "Brad Mehldau's Greatest Hits." From listening to this CD, you would have no idea that this is a debut. Along with his trio, he has created a remarkable and stunning album. The 7/4 "It Might as Well Be Spring" is a marvelous opener, and sets the mood for the whole CD. I am also partial to "Countdown," a ridiculously fast John Coltrane standard that Mehldau simply knocks off with ease. The Rodgers-Hart standard "My Romance" is played unbelievably slow, and when listened to correctly, could bring a tear to a listener's eye.However, my favorite song on the album is without a doubt the 10-minute rendition of Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," which stays mellow and melancholy throughout the whole song. I adore it, and it is a marvelous work by Mehldau and his group.As if Mehldau had been playing for millions of years, this album is a classic. Pick it up--it is a must for the true jazz fan."
Fresh like after a cold shower
Gion Jegher | Zurich, Switzerland | 09/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD in 1996 when I studied in the US. At that time, Brad Mehldau was completely unknown to me but as a jazz fan for many years I just bought the CD. Already after ten seconds of listening I loved it. Today, I love all Brad Mehldau's trio recordings. In all there is this perfect feeling of rhythm and melody, this touch of grace. But this one has a particular freshness. After listening to it my whole beeing feels energized like after a cold shower. Again and again. Check it out!"