Ode: Brad Mehldau Trio

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Brad Mehldau,Jeff Ballard,Larry Grenadier
LABELS: Nonesuch
ALBUM TITLE: Ode
WORKS: Studio works
PERFORMER: Brad Mehldau (paino), Larry Grenadier (bass), Jeff Ballard (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559796284

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One of the most respected jazz pianists around, Mehldau sustains an output of consistently excellent, original and unique discs. His loyal following continues to draw from both the jazz arena – resulting from his expansive exploration of jazz standards and beyond – and the classical music world, where he honed his technique.

Mehldau returns here to his trio format, which first bought him fame with his Art of the Trio discs and his intriguing pop tune explorations.

The title Ode indicates this studio disc’s 11 tributes. All three players are on sparkling form. Ballard’s drumkit smoulders on the restless opener ‘M.B.’ – a salute to saxist Michael Brecker, while tom-toms lurk under ‘Twiggy’. On ‘Kurt Vibe’ Grenadier’s descending bass hook carves out a bluesy groove. But, as always, Mehldau’s contemplative precision is pivotal. There is even a swaggering tribute to the half-cut sheriff in Easy Rider. And as an added treat the trio will be playing these pieces at the London Jazz Festival.

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Neil McKim