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A Review of Brad Mehldau Trio's 'Seymour Reads the Constitution!'

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Wednesday November 07, 2018

From Relix

Brad Mehldau Trio Seymour Reads the Constitution!
By: Jeff Tamarkin

For nearly every detour he takes—his previous two releases were a set of duets with mandolinist/ vocalist Chris Thile and a solo recording—jazz pianist Brad Mehldau always returns to his rhythm section: bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard.

The trio is Mehldau’s rock, his home base, that place where he can always continue where he left off. When we last heard from the three musicians in 2016, they were offering up Blues and Ballads , a blend of songs by Lennon-McCartney, Cole Porter and others. This time, there are more new interpretations— Brian Wilson, another McCartney, Frederick Loewe, Sam Rivers—but three new originals as well, including the two opening tracks. “Spiral,” the first of those, showcases the Brad Mehldau Trio doing what it does best: setting up a melodic theme, exploring it in depth, pushing it around a bit and casting it aside, but never quite leaving it behind.

At this point, after more than a decade together, the three are always in a shared pocket, locked in so tightly that there isn’t any leading or following involved—they just know where they want to go, and they get there effortlessly.

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