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Modern Music

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Modern Music, a collaboration between pianists Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli, features pieces written by each of the three musicians as well as works by Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, and Philip Glass, performed by the two pianists in arrangements by Zimmerli.

Brought into the collaboration as producer, Zimmerli became the catalyst for the Modern Music sessions, offering repertoire ideas and presenting creative challenges that took Hays and Mehldau well out of their familiar turf.

1. Crazy Quilt
2. Unrequited
3. Generatrix
4. Celtic Folk Melody
5. Excerpt from Music for 18 Musicians
6. Lonely Woman
7. Modern Music
8. Elegia
9. Excerpt from String Quartet #5

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 20, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B005DKLPCE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Zona on October 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Pianist Brad Mehldau (b. 1970) and pianist Kevin Hays (b. 1968), friends from high school, playing arrangements by Patrick Zimmerli (a mutual former high school mate) of compositions by Zimmerli, Mehldau, Hays, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman.

I was expecting some sort of contemporary music suite for two pianos, but what I have found and greatly enjoyed is beautiful piano music not that far from other solo piano works by Mehldau, such Elegiac Cycle or even Live in Tokyo or Live in Marciac. So, even if this is not the typical jazz Mehldau has played so far, it still sound totally as a Mehldau work. This because the Mehldau stylistic approach is strongly influencing all arrangements as well as Hays, with his signature crescendos, rhythmic structures, interactions between left and right hands, here taken to an even more complex level thanks to the perfectly matched piano mate. Through all tracks there is a faultless empathic interaction between the two keyboards and their sounds amalgamate as coming from a single instrument. So both pianists take you, the listener, along a musical travel between moments full of energy when the two pianos create a sort of seismic activity, to floating and harmonically enchanting atmospheres.

The recorded sound is quite good and the package is nice with informative liner notes in the form of an interview between Mehldau, Hays and Zimmerli. Totally recommended to any lover of modern (not only jazz) piano. Just one complaint: only 47 minutes of music, I wish there were more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I Care if You Listen (.com) on September 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Placing the pianist Brad Mehldau into a particular genre or category seems tricky; being defined as a jazz pianist seems limited for his output and extensive work since the 1990s, including curation of Jazz series at the Wigmore Hall here in London. The recent release from Nonesuch Records of `Modern Music' yet again shows the diversity of his work. Modern Music is the first recording of Mehldau with pianist Kevin Hays and includes jazz and contemporary classical works arranged by the composer Patrick Zimmerli, and also includes some original songs. Mehldau, Hays and Zimmerli had followed each other's careers but this disc represents their first recorded collaboration. The liner notes include an interview with the three musicians and set the scene for how this collaboration came into being. It all started with a telephone call that mentioned Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen (originally for 23 strings) which didn't make it on to the final disc but it includes an original work by Mehldau, Hays and Zimmerli amongst the other arrangements for two pianos the trio made.

`Crazy Quilt' is the first track by Zimmerlin featuring restrained energy and full of head-bopping rhythmic patterns. The rhythmic impetus slows for sensitive and imaginative solos, yet quickly returns to the feel of the opening. Improvisatory at times yet clearly structured with keen awareness of pace, and virtuosic technique from both. Mehldau's `Unrequited' follows and makes a good contrast in its reflective and introspective character. Long expressive melodic lines carry over colourful harmonies and a transparent texture gives clarity, allowing the intriguing chord voicings to come over well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ali Haluk on October 5, 2011
Format: Audio CD
long after his solo album "elegiac cycles", brad mehldau turns back to the interface between classical and jazz music, this time with an old friend, kavin hays.

this duo piano work is "modern music" as zimmerli's title song suggests. some frederic chopin, some ornette coleman...

aside originals from mehldau/hays and classical works from zimmerli, s. reich and p. glass, my favorite is rereading of coleman's "lonely woman". in the beginning, they play it sharply and at the end, softly as in the morning sunrise :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Steed on March 3, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some of it reaches quite far, perhaps above my feeble head. Maybe that's my problem. Otherwise, a lovely and musical lake of goodies. At it's best, almost perfect. At other times, it will still impress my friends that I am listening to something like this. Can't lose.
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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Flavio A. Gominho on October 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD
After the tremendous desolusion of "Largo," an awful CD, it was with a happy heart that I listened to this CD. What really got me was the Phillip Glass tune (too bad it is only an excerpt). I am sucker for music by Phillip Glass, whom I consider the most revolutionary, innovative & creative living classic composer, bar none. Mehldau really hit this one out of the ball park and I am looking forward to his concert at Cornell University's Bailey Hall this Sunday (16 Oct 2011). I am sure it will be well worth the $32 admission fee for an orchestra seat, fifth row!
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