12 Songs, 1 Hour 11 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
52 Ratings
52 Ratings
The New Magician ,

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.

UKNick ,

Jazz genius

So these guys live and they were excellent

forbisher ,

Brave New Jazz

Jazz is and should always be an ever-evolving art form in which composition meets improvisation and innovation. Sure, Miles will always be Mies. Duke Ellington will always be Ellington. Weather Report will always be Weather Report. But all of those artists pushed Jazz to the limits of definition. And so it goes. And with this adventurous new album from two absolutely brilliant musicians, we hear familiar Jazz, electronica, rock and funk sounds put together in a whole new, thoroughly modern way. And yes we hear all kinds of stylistic references to other artists, but if you try to compare this to some of those cats you miss the point. Take it for what it is and see if you like it. All I know is if these guys come to San Francisco, I’ll be there in the front row.

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