13 Songs, 2 Hours 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The pianist Brad Mehldau, who often plays improvisations based on rock songs and also draws from classical music, emerged as a pianist to be watched in the 1990s. He’s a stylistic descendent of Bill Evans, but Mehldau has developed his own sound at the keyboard. This live double album, recorded at the Village Vanguard in 2006, includes original material; songs by Oasis and Soundgarden; a gem by the Brazilian composer Chico Buarque; pieces by Jimmy Heath and John Coltrane; and a couple of old school standards. The rhythm section — bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard — are tuned into Mehldau’s every ebb and flow. The 24-minute version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” the longest track here, is a wonder. On the Mehldau original, “Secret Beach,” a delicious left-hand line seems to unfold in slow motion as the group plays a Brazilian groove. The album closes with an expansive rendition of the Coltrane hard bop classic, “Countdown.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The pianist Brad Mehldau, who often plays improvisations based on rock songs and also draws from classical music, emerged as a pianist to be watched in the 1990s. He’s a stylistic descendent of Bill Evans, but Mehldau has developed his own sound at the keyboard. This live double album, recorded at the Village Vanguard in 2006, includes original material; songs by Oasis and Soundgarden; a gem by the Brazilian composer Chico Buarque; pieces by Jimmy Heath and John Coltrane; and a couple of old school standards. The rhythm section — bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard — are tuned into Mehldau’s every ebb and flow. The 24-minute version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” the longest track here, is a wonder. On the Mehldau original, “Secret Beach,” a delicious left-hand line seems to unfold in slow motion as the group plays a Brazilian groove. The album closes with an expansive rendition of the Coltrane hard bop classic, “Countdown.”

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