Jazz pianist/composer Brad Mehldau teams up with his original trio for a stunning exercise in cool, calculated synergy on 2012’s Ode, their first full studio LP since 2005’s Day Is Done. Mehldau is the melodic and spiritual center here; on tracks like “Ode” and “Kurt Vibe,” he blends a Bill Evans-style close-to-the-chest harmonic emphasis with free-floating, single-line solos that travel in and out of those harmonies with incredible nonchalance. Drummer Jeff Ballard offers rhythmically possessed playing (“M.B.”) that finds its own cadence.

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