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iTunes Review

This is the second release by established legend Pat Metheny on guitar and emerging giant Brad Mehldau on piano, and it’s a stunner. Both players have previously proven how edgy and adventurous they can be, but they mostly tread the subtle and sophisticated route here, focusing on strong compositions, melodic improvisation, and the exchange of sympathetic solos at tempos ranging from light speed to slow burn. The title is not entirely accurate—only seven of the 11 songs actually feature the quartet—but while the four duets are undoubtedly gorgeous, particularly the tender “So Much Music Everywhere,” with its powerful build-up and release, it’s as a quartet that they truly shine. Rooted by the astonishing rhythm section of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, both of whom play regularly with Mehldau, Metheny and Mehldau create imaginative and textured soundscapes that are engaging, intensely focused, and never predictable, and the result is a beautiful and stirring piece of work that lives up to the superstar pairing. And now that Metheny and Mehldau are Nonesuch Records labelmates, perhaps we can expect, and hope for, further collaborations.

Customer Reviews

Tour de Force

I saw these guys live and there stuff is incredible. After the concert i bought every cd they were selling and could not be more satisfied. Metheny and Mehldau represent the combination of two distinct styles and backgrounds. Brad Mehldau seems to come from avant-garde jazz exploring inside and outside the chord changes creating, at some points, blankets of sound similar to the playing of the late John Coltrane. Pat Metheny brings more of a pop-fusion influence to the group with his multiple guitars and effects. These two master artists brought together with an intense and energetic rythm section have created something that cannot be just simply classified as Jazz.

ehh...a little dissapointing

Before I continue..I'll say that I DO consider myself a pretty large Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau fan. They both represent the pinnacle of their instrument with regard to improvised music. However, this release has proved extremely dissapointing to me for a number of reasons. One, the compositions seem completely watered down and uninspired, as if Metheny ( all of the compositions seem to maintain a big helping of Metheny-ness...particularly familiar chord progressions..predictable "poppy" melodies..etc) just threw these tunes together because Nonesuch wanted an album just for the sake of it. The second irritating factor to me is that the improvising, particularly Metheny's, lacks the kind of depth and inspiration that it usually always has. I listened to the recording a number of times straight through, and I find that there isnt one truly solid track that I could stand to finish. Overall, not the stellar piece I was hoping for..but you be the judge

Another winner for Metheny and Mehldau

This is a new and fresh recording from the same sessions that brought us the first (mostly duets) album. Some might find that some of the songs are similiar to PMG recordings, minus the lush arrangements, Latin percussion, and occasional vocalese. But listen close and you'll find some significant differences. A couple of tunes feature some little guitar crunches and nuances from Metheny you won't likely hear on the group recordings."A Night Away" starts the disc off right with a groove. "The Sound of Water" seems to use the Pikasso guitar in a way that builds nicely from "Into the Dream" from Imaginary Day. "Fear and Trembling" and "Towards the Light" take some risks, but they pay off. On some tunes, Metheny uses the synth guitar in tasty doses where one might find a good horn solo. Mehldau doesn't just accompany either. He jams along with Metheny as if they have been playing together for 20 years instead the two just admiring each other's playing from a distance as they had. At first I was put off that they put a couple quartet pieces on the first disc and a handful of duets on this one. But both sets work together naturally. Get this one.


Born: August 23, 1970 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Jazz

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

During the '90s and into the 2000s, Brad Mehldau was one among a plethora of young jazz pianists who rose to prominence. He is one of the more absorbing and thoughtful practitioners within that idiom, and he is 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 of Hartford, Connecticut, winning the Berklee College of Music's...
Full Bio
Quartet, Brad Mehldau
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