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Mehliana: Taming the Dragon

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iTunes Review

Pianist Brad Mehldau is well known for his interpretation of the Great American Songbook, but his work often draws on classical music too. And he’s no stranger to rock or pop; he sounds at home covering rock songs or collaborating with pop producer Jon Brion. On 2014’s Taming the Dragon, he teams with drummer Mark Guiliana; they call their duo Mehliana. Together they make music that comes off like an update of '70s prog rock and fusion. Mehldau plays Fender Rhodes and synthesizer here, often at the same time, creating a rich tapestry of tones. Guiliana is a great drummer; his playing is full of nuance, and he's as precise as a machine when he wants to be. The opening title track incorporates moody spoken word and surges of squelching synth and furious percussion. “Luxe” is a drum'n'bass-inflected slice of prog, where fidgety rhythms hook up with grand keyboard assertions. “Elegy for Amelia E.” marks a change in pace. Somber electric piano lines and sustained synth tones set the scene for a crackly recording of Amelia Earhart. The melancholy and restrained “London Gloaming” closes the album.

Customer Reviews

Jazz genius

So these guys live and they were excellent

So-so because of Spoken Poetry

This album has a few extended spoken word sections that are really poor, and get in the way of the tracks they're on. I would not buy those tracks, unless they end up releasing versions without the transparent poetry. 5 stars – spoken word = 3 stars. I should add that the stand-out on the album is actually Mark Guiliana, whose drumming is an impressive confluence of jazz, break-beat, and electronic drumming.

Great album

Two innovators of our generation making beautiful music. Defying genres brooo

Biography

Born: August 23, 1970 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most acclaimed pianists of his generation, Brad Mehldau is a virtuoso performer with an ear for deeply nuanced, harmonically sophisticated acoustic jazz. While Mehldau is one of the more absorbing and thoughtful practitioners within that idiom, he is also receptive to the idea of using material from the rock era (Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," for example). Though Mehldau's training is primarily classical, his interest in jazz began early. He played in the Hall High School jazz band in...
Full Bio
Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, Brad Mehldau
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