Got hold of the new Brad Mehldau Trio offering “Ode”. Brad’s first trio recording in a good few years and I, personally, think the trio setting is his real spiritual home (there have been some solo works and one for a larger ensemble).
The title track starts of a bit “ballady” with nice slow moving piano and bass line being carried downstream by drummer Jeff Ballards rapidly trickling cymbals. As the theme builds though, both piano and bass accelerate to match the drums before the trio all slow down to bring it to a gradual halt.
“26” has kind of a slow bluesy feel to it. Doubt very much that the “26” of the title refers to marathon distance – but you never know.
Probably the most solidly modern jazz based album I’ve heard from the trio for a bit but there is still a “hint” of “rock” there if you look for it.
“Bee Blues” sounds (to this listener’s less than perfect ears) similar to Thelonious Monk’s style of piano with surprising spaces and hesitations.
It’s modern jazz with a bit of attitude.
Put your feet up – switch the headphones to “mono” (or "stereo" if you must) – grab a mug of java – and get stuck into a big old slice of cake!