Editors’ Notes Solo piano has long been an advantageous format for Brad Mehldau, but when the COVID-19 quarantine hit, it became the only possible format. And so Mehldau recorded this set of fairly short but meaningful pieces reflective of the time period, in the wake of a trio tour that got cut short. Like so many performing artists, Mehldau was forced to contemplate a loss of livelihood, the “hollow fear of an unknown future” as he states on the notes that adorn the album cover, but also “moments of revelation along the way” in a time of forced solitude and stillness.

The compositional mode is a 12-part suite, starting and ending with a stark simplicity but becoming more dense and dissonant in turn. The chunky chord patterns and intervals of “- the day moves by -” contrast with the drifting-apart bass and treble motion of “keeping distance,” the playful blues of “in the kitchen,” the pop-rock glide of “family harmony,” and the glimmering semi-classical lyricism of “remembering before all this.” After the suite is a three-part encore of sorts: apropos songs by Neil Young and Billy Joel and a much older one by Jerome Kern. “Look for the Silver Lining” is something many people did while stuck at home, but as Mehldau said in a radio interview, “I don’t think it’s in our sights.” It’s a point the pianist reflects with a master’s touch in an ending that leaves us hanging, refusing to resolve.

1
1:14
 
2
2:18
 
3
2:52
 
4
1:56
 
5
3:39
 
6
1:51
 
7
1:57
 
8
3:31
 
9
3:14
 
10
2:57
 
11
2:54
 
12
3:13
 
13
2:06
 
14
3:06
 
15
3:31
 

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