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Metheny / Mehldau by Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau

Brad Mehldau is a modern master of the piano, an eclectic and very creative musician in mainstream clothing, at home with jazz standards as well as songs by the Beatles and Nick Drake.

Pat Metheny is one of the few guitarists who practically redefined the sound/concept of the jazz guitar. Further, Metheny has pushed himself into contexts unusual for most jazz musicians - his collaborators include Ornette Coleman, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Charlie Haden, Jim Hall, Roy Haynes, and the late Derek Bailey. Put these two together and watch the sparks fly, right?

Well, yes and no - sparks do fly, but not in the form of displays of dual/dueling, of flash and technique (known to some as "hot licks"). Most of this dandy platter is just these two, with bass & drums on two tracks.

"Unrequited" is a beautiful, flowing ballad with just a touch of the poignancy of Vince Guaraldi and the melody, gently undulating rhythm, and duo-interplay are very J.S. Bach-like. "Say the Brother's Name" is one of the tracks with bass 'n' drums - Metheny employs his guitar sound where the notes he plays gently bump your eardrums the same way the first drops of a rain-shower gently break against your cheek, while Mehldau with a ringing melodic flair similar to Hancock, Jarrett, and Bill Evans while remaining utterly his own.

Of course, these gents naturally know how to soar, but they also know when to rein it in - in other words, very little excess. Metheny/Mehldau is not the kind of summit meeting that sets out to clean your clock, but instead, makes you forget about the clock entirely. No masterpiece, but very nice indeed.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau
  • CD Title: Metheny / Mehldau
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Musicians: P. Metheny (guitars), B. Mehldau (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass), Jeff Ballard (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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