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Acclaim for Art of the Trio Box Set

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Wednesday January 11, 2012

Independent On Sunday
January 8, 2012

This box-set collects pianist Mehldau’s five albums with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums, plus five unreleased Village Vanguard tracks.
Ethan Iverson’s excellent sleevenotes hail Mehldau as the synthesis of 1980s traditionalism and 1960s experiment, while regarding the trio as a co-op of equals, which it surely wasn’t. But marvel at Mehldau’s uncanny independence of left and right hands, and his wan way with a ballad, as heard on the celebrated “Songs”. Phil Johnson
www.independent.co.uk

The Times
December 24, 2011

Dubbing successive Mehldau releases The Art of the Trio suggested high expectations from his record company, which the Florida-born pianist duly met. With Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy, drums, his band became the most influential new piano trio of the Nineties, a subtle mix of tradition and innovation — no one had improvised on Radiohead and Nick Drake before. Among the seven CDs in this boxed set is a bonus live disc that includes a radiant Unrequited and a tender In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. That festive gift for a hard-to-buy-for jazz chum is now sorted. John Bungey
www.thetimes.co.uk

Sunday Times
January 1, 2012

The pianist’s many admirers won’t need to be persuaded to invest in this overview of his early years. The minority of sceptics, however, won’t be convinced, in spite of exemplary notes by the Bad Plus’s Ethan Iverson. Mehldau’s virtuoso touch and tone are certainly delicious — 1998’s Songs includes his often intriguing excursions into Radiohead and Nick Drake — but his penchant for the grandiose is never too far away, and there remains a fatal lack of rhythmic drive in the extended interplay with Jorge Rossy and Larry Grenadier. A disc of previously unreleased material from the Village Vanguard provides more room for self-indulgence. Clive Davis
www.thesundaytimes.co.uk