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Largo

3.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Amazon.com

Having essayed "the art of the trio" on several albums boasting that same tag, pianist Brad Mehldau opens up his style here to embrace horns and strings, electronics and robo-beats. Produced by popmeister Jon Brion (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple), whom he hooked up with at the Largo nightclub in Los Angeles, Largo the CD is thick with atmosphere: titles such as "When It Rains" shouldn't be taken lightly. But its studied romanticism, while cutting back on the pianistic posturing that has turned off some jazz critics on Mehldau (while intensifying the devotion of others), is ultimately thin in substance. At its best, as on the freewheeling "Paranoid Android," the music attains a kind of hermetic intensity. At other times, it recalls the acoustic experimentation of Medeski Martin & Wood with its decorative grooves and empty claims on free expression. Cocktail music is but a few degrees of banality away, which, depending on your taste, is either reason to stay away or reason to make Mehldau even more of a hot property. --Lloyd Sachs

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. When It Rains
  2. You're Vibing Me
  3. Dusty Mcnugget
  4. Dropjes
  5. Paranoid Android
  6. Frankli Avenue
  7. Sabbath
  8. Dear Prudence
  9. Free Willy
  10. Alvarado
  11. Wave/Mother Nature's Son
  12. I Do


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 20, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000068WXL
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,868 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Brad Mehldau Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When an artist as young, accomplished, and highly regarded as Brad Mehldau strikes out on a new path, he's bound to be criticized. And he's gotten his fair share of dissing on this site and elswhere.
Let's get a few things straight. First, Mehldau has lost none of his pianistic brilliance. If you think so, give a listen his outro solo on "Dropjes." Secondly, he most certainly does know how to inject his unique pianism into Jon Brion's soundscapes. Check out how integrated and wonderful-sounding his piano is on "Paranoid Android," which showcases everything that's great about this record--the seemless integration of jazz and pop elements, the extraordinarily clear piano sound, the discrete use of electronics, the perfect translation of a pop sensibility into an authentic jazz setting. Third, there's noting wrong with Melhdau's vibes playing. It's a little naive and ideosyncratic, but so what?
Mehldau has always been a master of moods. Nothing has changed here; what he's done, in my view, is just brilliantly expand his musical/emotional palette. This, quite naturally, doesn't sit well with everyone. Tough luck.
If you're down with Dave Douglas' Freak In, The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Chris Destrin, etc., you'll dig it. Otherwise, probably not.
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Format: Audio CD
I am very surprised none of the reviewers below mentioned anything about the song "Alvarado"; it is so well accomplished that I found it equal to the performances of great pianist such as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Keith Jarret and Danilo Perez. Also, be carefull when judging sounds that our ears are not YET used to hearing. How many CD's have taken a few rounds of listening before getting to love them? If you are a true music lover, who is always seeking for new and different music, I know the answer is"many".Is "Largo" one of those CD's that require several listenings due to its innovations? Listen to "Alvarado" and find your own answer.
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Format: Audio CD
Boy has this CD garnered the full range of views! Amazon customers who read the review pages will see two basic areas of opinion. There are those who love this album and those who hate it. No-one is indifferent.I am in the first category because truly this album is the ONLY one which has actually moved the music forward in the manner that Miles and Duke were able to do so effortlessly when in their long and wonderful primes. The tunes are of the type that stick in your head, indeed apart from the cover of "Dear Prudence" many of the tunes have a Beatles-ish quality. The playing is top notch and the SOUND is fantastic. I have had this CD for months and I still play it frequently. Our 12 year old daughter finds it unsettling so that tells you that Meldhau is on to something. Music can be anything but it should never be safe. This is far from safe.
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Format: Audio CD
Brad Mehldau is undoubtedly one of the most original and continuously inventive voices in jazz music. He fuses his improvisational jazz playing with interesting covers (only Brad Mehldau could make Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" sound like a jazz standard), unique arrangements (treated piano, woodwinds), and odd instrumentation (he switches to vibes for a spirited take on the Beatles classic "Mother Nature's Son"). While he's doing all this rule-breaking, he never forgets the fact that he's a truly gifted pianist with a great band, playing and mprovising his heart out.
The original songs are also amazing. The opener, "When it Rains" has a lovely melody and a breathtaking arrangement reminiscent of early Randy Newman. When I first heard the song I had to check the liner notes because it sounded like a standard. The entire album is like that -- beautiful songs and unique arrangements that sould so exquisite, you wonder why nobody else thought of them.
Producer Jon Brion -- better known as a pop producer for artists like Aimee Mann and Fiona Apple -- brings a distinctive sound to this album, one of the years' best and another chapter in the amazing career of Brad Mehldau.
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Format: Audio CD
Because this is not exactly typical of what I have in my collection from Mehldau. But, being a huge fan of Keith Jarrett and a fan of John Zorn's Masada Group, Dave Douglas, and Medeski, Martin & Wood, I don't mind my music being "out there" a bit on occasion. This is not Dave Brubeck playing traditional standards. This is also not MM&W completely improvising. It is somewhere in the middle, which is a difficult territory to inhabit: Mehldau has run the risk of alienating his more traditional fans but not going far enough to please more hardcore electronic potential fans who want him to play more outside the box. . . .
My advice, whatever that's worth, is that, if you are already a devoted fan, you need to listen to this disc and test your loyalties. If you are just a fan of the style he has played previously, then you need to be careful. If you've never heard of him (which is highly unlikely), then you want to take a listen to cuts from several of his other CDs to get a more complete picture of Brad Mehldau. I might listen to INTRODUCING. . . or ELEGIAC CYCLE or TRIO, VOLUMES ONE and/or FIVE more often, but this one will stay in the rotation, for when I'm feeling a bit more adventuresome. . . .
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