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Day Is Done

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 27, 2005
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Day is Done boasts a smartly selected range of original and borrowed material, from Tin Pan Alley jazz standard 'No Moon At All', made famous by Nat King Cole, to 'Knives Out' from Radiohead's Amnesiac. Day is Done also includes two of Mehldau's own pieces, 'Artis' and 'Turtle Town', plus a cover of contemporary tenor sax player Chris Cheek's 'Granada', which Mehldau originally performed on Cheek's vine.Atlantic. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000ATJYLC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,316 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Much of the repertoire on this album is drawn from the years just before and after the pianist's birth (1970). We get Bacharach's "Alfie" (from the Michael Caine film of 1966), two Beatles tunes, "She's Leaving Home" from Sgt. Pepper's (1967) and "Martha My Dear" from The White Album (1968), Nick Drake's "Day Is Done" (1969), and Paul Simon's hit "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (1975). Balancing out this intriguing time warp are such more contemporary items as another Radiohead song, saxophonist Chris Cheek's "Granada," and two Mehldau originals. The set concludes, eclectically, with something approaching a more traditional jazz standard, "No Moon at All" from 1947, which has been covered by such luminaries as Basie, Nat King Cole, and George Shearing but not by everyone under the sun. It makes a splendid closer here.

For the most part, in other words, this is unconventional jazz material, and Mehldau does not neglect to make the most of that opportunity, bringing to bear his unique sensibility, which somehow synthesizes the harmonic sophisticiation of Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms, the best stylings of modern jazz piano, and the hooks of the popular composers whose songs he utilizies as vehicles. For Mehldau, refreshingly, there are no generic barriers, only good music.

Much comment on this disc will inevitably focus on the lineup change, with Jeff Ballard replacing Mehldau's long-time drummer Jorge Rossy, who has recorded with the trio since Introducing (1995). Ballard, however, has played with bassist Larry Grenadier for a while (in the trio Fly), so it's not surprising he fits into this unit so well. In fact, Ballard comes out swinging, with propulsive support on "Knives Out," surely one of Mehldau's most exciting recordings to date.
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Format: Audio CD
Actually, there are plenty of other Jazz pianists who are every bit as good as Brad Mehldau. The real virtue of Mehldau is that he is not constrained by some notion of "Jazz" or labels, rather he has and is working on a unique expression in music that includes and extends beyond the current trend in Jazz pianism that brings to mind the late and great Kenny Kirkland.

Mehldau's treatment of such pieces as "Martha My Dear" recall Bela Bartok or Charles Ives more so that a Fats Waller or most any "ism" in music today. Mehldau's choice of material to arrange is telling as well. Instead of doing yet another arrangement of a Jazz standard, he has chosen familar yet unknown material in a Jazz context and has used this as a means to explore and play with different sounds and sonorities that one does not usually associate with Jazz. The quietly seathing, chromatic sluring of octaves and unusual dissonance in "Knives Out" cuts in a way that is disquieting and expressive -- such is uniquely Mehldau in its voice. Considering such, it disservice to consider him the "best" Jazz pianist around, rather he is a musician that has developed an unique voice in the music that is striking and worth listening to. Only after listening to what has come before in music can one really appreciate the uniqueness that Mehldau offers.

This CD is a good selection for those interested in where Jazz is going nowadays.
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Format: Audio CD
pianist brad mehldau has succeded again in crafting a beautiful studio album with his updated trio. a well structred line-up of tunes continues the mehldau tradition of reharmonizing popular and folk tunes for improvisiational diolougue. wonderful songwriters such as paul simon, nick drake, the beatles, and radiohead all make an appearence here and the album is filled out with two mehldau originals and two standards. mehldau also played producer on the album and the recording quality of the group is better then ever, revealing the piano with great clarity and capturing grenidier's wonderful tone better then ever before.

jeff ballard, the new drummer, provides a unique change of pace for mehldau, playing with a slightly more agressive, on-the-beat approach that gives the trio a different rhythmic intensity as opposed to jorge rossy's wonderful, space-oriented playing that graced mehldau's previous trio recordings.

highlights of the album include radiohead's 'knives out' which was a powerful one-take in the studio. it comes across with a wonderful intensity and captures the phrasing of the tune perfectly. larry grenidier's bass playing is also featured nicely on the the odd meter exploration of simon's '50 ways' and the haunting but uptempo reading of drake's 'day is done'.

all in all, an exceptional release by one of our generation's most inovative and exciting pianists who continues to thrive and reinvent the trio setting.
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Format: Audio CD
I actually obtained "Day is Done" about 4 days before it was released from a friend of mine. Jeff Ballard, the new drummer for the trio gives Mehldau's group a very different feel but very fresh and new...I like him a lot. Every track on the CD is amazing. My favorites are "Knives Out", "Martha My Dear", and Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover". Also the ballad "Alfie" by Burt Bacharach is short but leaves you appreciating just how great the melody of the tune is. If you have I-tunes you can download two more tunes that aren't on the CD which are very good too. I highly recommend this CD to any fan of "piano trio" Jazz, or any Jazz fan in general.
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