Customer Reviews: Metheny / Mehldau
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on December 21, 2006
The once promising and inventive jazz pianist who amazed us all with his Art of the Trio series, cool versions of Radiohead and Nick Drake tunes, and the stunning solo effort Elegiac Cycle, was responsible for not one... not two... but THREE bland, ponderous, and entirely forgettable albums released on the Nonesuch label in 2006.

House On Hill has his stellar original trio coasting along aimlessly through Mehldau originals that all sound the same, the ambitious Love Sublime, a collaboration with opera superstar Renee Fleming, is a dreary, pretentious, and unlistenable mess, and Metheny/Mehldau pairs the pianist with the jazz guitar legend for a yawn-fest of uninspired noodling.

Here's to hoping Brad Mehldau gets his mojo back in 2007...
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VINE VOICEon September 20, 2006
Remember UNDERCURRENT? Well, it is clearly and reverently referenced throughout this recording. The pointillistic stylings of Metheny and the impressionistic evocations of Evans by Mehldau render this a sublime and soothing foray. At times, a little too soothing. Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard pop in for two of the cuts that pick the tempo up, but the rest of the CD is late night musings, much like Metheny's ONE QUIET NIGHT. This is much easier to digest than ONE WAY UP or the twentieth anniversary edition of SONG X, but I like experimental, and I have a feeling that this CD will get a lot of rotation on what's left of the smooth-jazz formats. Metheny occasionally veers too close in that direction anyway, but to his credit, he has the chops and surprises more often than not.

As I said, Jim Hall looms large over this effort. His was a gentler jazz. Metheny advances the point that its reconsideration is a worthy endeavour, and to that end I have certainly gone back to UNDERCURRENTS, as well as the Jim Hall Pat Metheny disc. He's completely right. Mehldau is still exploring where to go once you have embraced Evans. My guess is that he is a disc or two away from that self-realization. Perhaps a pairing down the road will be in hand.

This isn't a Way Up, just a different way.
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on March 12, 2007
It is quite a departure from the usual up tempo that you would expect from one of the greastest jazz guitarist of our time. The deviation from the steadfast Pat Metheny sound is OK and is still good listening, just not great!
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on September 15, 2006
It's been far from a sure thing with Pat Metheny's recent releases and following the disappointing "Way Up" it was fairly exiting news to hear that he was to be paired with Brad Mehldau, the heir apparent to Keith Jarrett. Indeed, it is Mehldau's unembellished keyboard precision that makes this duo project work as well as it does and recalls Metheny's ECM days.

The complex interplay has already drawn enough comparisons to the Jim Hall/Bill Evans collaboration to make the fiercely individual Mehldau climb up the wall. In fairness, this recording features more sophisticated voicing than the Hall/Evans duo. `Say the Brother's Name', `Bachelors III' and `Make Peace' are the standouts and are all Metheny compositions as are 7 of the 10 tracks.

Larry Grenadier, Jeff Ballard and Metheny's guitar synthesizer make for an annoying mid-disc return to the overly familiar PMG fusion sound on track 4, `Ring of Life'. The throwback electronics diminish a very nice Mehldau solo. However, Grenadier and Ballard, 2/3 of Mehldau's working trio also provide one the disc's highlights on `Say the Brother's Name', the only other quartet piece on the recording.

Overall, this CD is worth having if you're a fan of either player and will likely be a revenue windfall for the Nonesuch label. However, there is something a bit too level about the production and it doesn't take advantage of the edge Mehldau brings to all his work which, started a pretty high bar and just seems to get better with each passing disc.
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I like Brad Mehldau. I really do. And I kind of like Pat Metheny. But I have never been a big huge fan of jazz guitar, and unfortunatley, that's what Pat plays. So, I tried not to think too hard about what was in store for me. I tried to believe that as a jazz musician, I would be able to learn from this music. I tried to believe that Mehldau would balance out the guitar and I would actually enjoy this CD. I even listened to it more than once (more than twice) to see if maybe I started to "get" it or it grew on me. Unfortunately, the only thing that happened is I discovered where dentists and doctors get their piped in waiting room music. Some people may like this album, but it is definitely not my cup of hot mocha.
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on May 20, 2007
Jazz is dying because of recordings like this. Pretentious noodling of the highest order. Save your money because nothing is challenging about this recording. I just hope they don't put out any more!
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on September 21, 2006
A plaisant new cd from the superstar duo , but not a memorable one . A definite lack of musical partnership in this one.....maybe the next one .

There is just too much music in this cd , it sounds like Metheny is playing non stop all over the place , Mehldau is defitly in secong role here and unfortunatly does not sounds like himself in most of the tracks .

too bad , next recording maybe .
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on October 15, 2007
As this CD has some trick that makes it impossible for a PC CD reader to work, it has been impossible to load this CD into my iTunes. I couldn't read any warning about this trick on the CD cover. I would gladly return it. I feel cheated.
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