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Brad Mehldau Trio Returns with "Blues and Ballads," Available on Nonesuch

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Trio’s first release since 2012 features interpretations of well-known blues and ballad tunes

“The pianist Brad Mehldau has led this iteration of his pace-setting trio—with the bassist Larry Grenadier and the drummer Jeff Ballard—since 2005, and it has evolved into a graceful powerhouse, equally savvy about groove and harmony.” —New York Times

“...three musicians who share a common aesthetic—Mehldau’s—in which gestures are stated softly and with utmost subtlety ... When music-making becomes this transparent, listeners can relish details of texture and voicing ... the central pleasure of this set (was) hearing Mehldau's exquisitely balanced chords and gently lilting phrases echoed and embellished by his partners.” —Chicago Tribune

Nonesuch Records releases the Brad Mehldau Trio’s Blues and Ballads, the trio’s first new release since 2012’s Where Do You Start, on June 3, 2016. The previous release received critical acclaim, with the Financial Times saying, “Mehldau never lets his peerless technique and meticulous timing interrupt the narrative flow of a well-told tale. Here, the pianist and his trio burrow deep into left-field pop and the American songbook, and give an adventurous sheen to modern jazz.” Blues and Ballads similarly comprises interpretations of songs by other composers, this time with the focus on blues and ballads implied by the album’s title (track list on next page). The Brad Mehldau Trio is Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums. Blues and Ballads is available for order now at iTunes and nonesuch.com, where an instant download of the album track “Little Person” is included with purchase.

Brad Mehldau moved to New York City and first came to prominence as a member of current label mate Joshua Redman’s quartet in the 1990s before becoming a bandleader himself. His trio, which tours the world extensively, made eight acclaimed recordings for Warner Bros., including the five widely praised Art of the Trio albums with former drummer Jorge Rossy, which Nonesuch released as a boxed set in December 2011.

The pianist’s time with Nonesuch has been equally productive, beginning with the solo disc Live in Tokyo and including five trio records—Day Is Done, House on Hill, Live, Ode, and Where Do You Start—as well as a collaboration with soprano Renée Fleming, Love Sublime; a chamber ensemble album, Highway Rider; and two collaborations with label mate Pat Metheny, Metheny Mehldau and Quartet, the latter of which also includes Ballard and Grenadier. In 2011, Nonesuch released Mehldau’s live solo performance on Live in Marciac and his collaborations with genre-crossing musicians Kevin Hays and Patrick Zimmerli on Modern Music. The following year, Nonesuch released Ode, which went on to be nominated for a Grammy, and Where Do You Start. In 2013, Mehldau was featured as a performer and producer on Joshua Redman’s acclaimed Nonesuch release Walking Shadows. His solo on “Sleeping Giant,” on his and Mark Guiliana’s 2014 Nonesuch album Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo in the 2015 Grammy awards. Nonesuch released the 4-CD 10 Years Solo Live in November 2015; later that year, Mehldau received the Wigmore Medal, the first jazz musician ever to do so. Mehldau was also curator of an annual jazz series at Wigmore Hall from 2009 to 2011, and was the first-ever jazz artist to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall, in its 2010–11 season. The Brad Mehldau Trio was named Best International Ensemble at the 2013 Echo Awards, the same year that Where Do You Start was chosen as Album of the Year by the Académie du Jazz.

Brad Mehldau Trio, Blues and Ballads

1. Since I Fell For You (Buddy Johnson)
2. I Concentrate On You (Cole Porter)
3. Little Person (Jon Brion)
4. Cheryl (Charlie Parker)
5. These Foolish Things (Jack Strachey)
6. And I Love Her (John Lennon & Paul McCartney)
7. My Valentine (Paul McCartney)

This story appears courtesy of Nonesuch Publicity.
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