COMPOSERS: Elan Mehler Quartet
ALBUM TITLE: Scheme For Thought
PERFORMER: Elan Mehler (piano), Andrew Zimmerman (trumpet), Tod Hedrick (bass), David Moore (keyboards)
CATALOGUE NO: BWOOD021CD-P
On his website, young US pianist Elan Mehler compares his ‘compositional touch’ to Bill Evans and Debussy. Confident speak, but then it helps to have self belief when you’re playing in this rarefied area of modern jazz. His reflective jazz works because it is so assured. He chooses notes with care, weighting them tenderly.
There are no real tunes to hang on to in the programme, so instead you immerse yourself in a chilled pool of Mehler’s controlled, rather detached abstraction. If it all feels meditatively different it is also because there are no drums. Instead, keyboards are used for colour illumination. Zimmerman’s velvet tone on tenor sax plays a more conventional role, beautifully balanced against Mehler’s still chording and Hedrick’s bass.