Brad Mehldau Trio/Brad Mehldau: Brad Mehldau (piano); Larry Grenadier (bass guitar); Jeff Ballard (drums).
Personnel: Brad Mehldau; Larry Grenadier (double bass); Jeff Ballard .
Audio Mixer: James Farber.
Recording information: The Village Vanguard, New York, NY (10/11/2006-10/15/2006).
Photographer: Michael Wilson .
The fingers on pianist Brad Mehldau's hands are possessed by a sentient intelligence quick and inventive enough to inspire slack-jawed wonder. That intelligence is on prodigious display on the Brad Mehldau Trio's 2008 double-disc live outing. Recorded over four evenings at New York City's Village Vanguard, LIVE captures the pianist's elegant, thoughtful, exploratory style within a dynamic, dazzling trio setting.
Bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard exhibit supernatural sympathy with Mehldau, creating surging pockets of rhythm and open, shifting frameworks for melodic improvisation. The program consists of originals mixed with wildly eclectic covers (including Oasis's "Wonderwall," the Tin Pan Alley standard "More Than You Know," Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," and John Coltrane's "Countdown"). This all makes for thoroughly engaging listening, and a testament to one of the finer talents in contemporary jazz.
Down Beat (p.72) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Mehldau's ear for covers remains consistently solid....On every track, Mehldau clears the bar of what is expected for a franchise jazz artist, reinforcing what is generation specific about his music..."
JazzTimes (pp.102-103) - "Mehldau plays here with a daring abandon that sweeps all of the 12 performances far from where they began."