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Pat Metheny - Metheny - Mehldau CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Dick Heath
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.

Report this review (#89291)
Posted Friday, September 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is much softer and quieter than many of Pat Metheny's previous albums. Perhaps this is because of the presence of genius pianist Brad Mehldau. The two work very well together and they're distinctive sounds merge very well. Metheny never ceases to please with his talented and soulful guitar playing. I can't think of one Metheny album that I have disliked. This album is more or less up to par with Metheny's older works and should not be missed by anyone who enjoys jazz.
Report this review (#105215)
Posted Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permalink

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