COMPOSERS: Brad Mehldau Trio
ALBUM TITLE: Brad Mehldau Trio Where Do You Start
WORKS: Where Do You Start
PERFORMER: Brad Mehldau Trio
CATALOGUE NO: 7559796105
Billed as a follow up to Ode, the collection of self-penned tunes released earlier this year, the Mehldau Trio’s new album is dedicated to interpretations of other people’s work. Mehldau and his men are masters of the postmodernist treatment, balancing old and new values, integrating contemporary and traditional elements. He’s gone all the way with this programme, juxtaposing indie underground writer Sufjan Stevens with bebop trumpet legend Clifford Brown; singer/songwriter Nick Drake with composer Johnny Mandel, for example. In the trio’s hands, every tune comes over as a deliciously prepared standard, the cool essence of the lyric melody shining out of each number.
The inclusion of two warming samba pieces (from Chico Buarque and Toninho Horta) is perfect. This group’s live shows can be electric, but in the studio they pull the focus, and Where Do You Start is yet another understated masterclass in trio-ism.