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Pat Metheny -  Metheny Mehldau CD (album) cover

METHENY MEHLDAU

Pat Metheny

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.19 | 19 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
3 stars It seems the record company policy at Nonesuch is to get their jazz musicians under contract, to make album with each other. So perhaps it is not that surprising that pianist Brad Mehldau, with a number of best selling albums and the critics favourite, has been brought together with Metheny, probably their best seling artist. Mehldau seemingly the clasically train pianist, is far from shy of including rock in his repertoire, e.g. compositions by Radiohead (two stonking versions, studio and live, of Paranoid Android are recommended), Nick Drake and Lennon/McCartney, is very much the musician who can appeal to a broad audience

However, 'Metheny Mehldau' will disappoint those who expect a storming set, especially of jazz rock. No, this mostly modern jazz, and instead of fireworks expect subtlety. Indeed I reminded of what Allan Holdsworth said: bring two great instrumentalists together and they are likely to inhibit each other. Inhibition? Perhaps here, not pushing the boundaries, no trying to outplay each other. Mehldau at times sounds like he is accompanying Metheny - taking second fiddle - when I wish there was more of the stridency and risk-taking heard on his (most highly recommended) 'Largo' album. So expect some good (but I'm not sure about great) soloing from Metheny well within his range - although at one point I was mumbling to myself: 'turn the bloody trumpet effect off or get a proper trumpeter to take that solo'.

Jazz (rather than jazz rock) that sits somewhere between laid back and chilled out - what ever those terms mean. For the Metheny completist.

Dick Heath | 3/5 |

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