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REVIEW Brad Mehldau Highway Rider (All About Jazz)

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Tuesday March 09, 2010

Read the entire John Kelman review at All About Jazz

Mehldau’s recent work writing for orchestra—The Brady Bunch Variations for Orchestre Natonal D‘Îsle-de-France, and the song-cycle Love Sublime (Nonesuch, 2006), with soprano René Fleming, amongst others—has clearly given Mehldau the confidence to find, with Highway Rider, a nexus point where form-based improvisation and through-composition meet. Based around the preexisting chemistry of his regular trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, but expanding to a quintet with longtime friend Joshua Redman on saxophones and, back from Largo, drummer Matt Chamberlain, Highway Rider is a double-disc suite that’s as much a soundtrack to an imaginary film as anything Mehldau’s ever done.