Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Quality of Life Improvement 1: "Highway Rider" by Brad Mehldau

Still indebted to Bill Evans, 2010 finds Brad Mehldau collaborating with pop producer Jon Brion to create the ambitious, and mostly successful, classical-jazz "Highway Rider" two-disc epic. 

In his prodigious previous recordings, Brad Mehldau, both with and without his trio, has ricocheted from California-style, Cool-Jazz interpretations of the Beatles' catalogue, jazz takes on tracks from Radiohead ("Everything in its Right Place" being a stand-out example) to collaborations with soprano vocalist (Renée Fleming on "Love Sublime" in 2006) and Pat Metheney (on the album "Quartet" in 2007).

"Highway Rider" presents the listener with 15 original compositions, stretching over 100 minutes of aural landscapes that Mehldau alone arranged and orchestrated. He is joined by, among others, drummer and frequent Tori Amos collaborator, Matt Chamberlain and saxophonist Joshua Redman.

This album is perfect at home, at sunset. It's music to relax and to savor. The Hawaiian Sybarite recommends the tracks "Walking the Peak," "We'll Cross the River Together," as well as the title track, "Highway Rider" for heavy rotation on your iPod.

"Highway Rider" is available from Nonesuch Records, on iTunes or from Amazon.com.

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