Nearness finds acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau teaming up for a set of loose yet heartfelt duo performances. Collaborators since they first began playing together in Redman's quartet in the early '90s, Mehldau and Redman have forged their own distinct solo careers. While they have continued to work together in various settings, the duo put a spotlight on their creative friendship with their 2011 tour. Nearness features live performances captured during the European leg of that tour, including tapings in Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway.
Nonesuch Records releases Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live eight-LP vinyl box set October 16, 2015, and this four-CD and digital version of the same on November 13. The set is culled from 19 live recordings made over a decade of the pianist's European solo concerts and is divided into four thematic subsets: Dark/Light, The Concert, Intermezzo/Rückblick, and E Minor/E Major. 10 Years Solo Live will be released digitally and on CD the following month.
The Brad Mehldau Trio, featuring Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums, returns with Ode, an album of 11 previously unreleased songs composed by Mehldau. The record, which is the first from the trio since 2008’s Live Village Vanguard disc and the first studio trio recording since 2005’s Day Is Done, is out this week in the UK and this coming Tuesday in North America. Many of the songs on the new album were written as tributes, or “odes,” to real and fictional people, such as the late saxophonist Michael Brecker (“M.B.”), a character from the film Easy Rider (“Wyatt’s Eulogy for George Hanson”), and the guitarist Kurt Ronsenwinkel (“Kurt Vibe”).
Brad Mehldau's latest solo recording, the two-CD/single-DVD Live in Marciac begins with two tracks that contrast his astonishing technical facility and his considerable inventive gift for empathic interpretation. The opening "Storm" is an original four-minute exercise in furious counterpoint, expansive layered harmony, and swinging ostinato; it's followed by a complex yet utterly inventive lyrical reading of Cole Porter's "It's All Right with Me" that not only underscores the lyric in its full harmonic voice, but expands upon it with low- and middle-register arpegiattic studies from Bach and Brahms without losing site of the tune. These are but two of the many surprises on this recorded in 2006.