Celebrating the Year in Nonesuch Music

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Friday December 21, 2018

From Nonesuch Music

Celebrating the Year in Nonesuch Music: 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, and the Nonesuch Journal takes a bit of a hiatus till the start of 2019, it’s time to take a look back and remember all of the great and diverse music made by Nonesuch artists over the past year. Many Nonesuch artists and their recent Nonesuch releases have made music critics’ and fans’ year-end best lists. Here, in words and music and in chronological order, is a look back at the year in Nonesuch music:

Brad Mehldau
After Bach

Also on March 9 came Brad Mehldau’s solo album After Bach, which comprises recordings of four preludes and one fugue from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, each followed by an After Bach piece written by Mehldau and inspired by its WTC mate. “There have always been elements of Mehldau’s style that recall Bach,” writes Timo Andres in the liner note. “After Bach surveys their shared ground as keyboardists, improvisers, and composers, making implicit parallels explicit.”

After Bach is included among the Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2018 per Jazzwise.

Brad Mehldau Trio
Seymour Reads the Constitution!

On Seymour Reads the Constitution!, released on May 18, Brad Mehldau Trio performs three Mehldau originals combined with interpretations of pop songs (Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson), jazz tunes (Elmo Hope, Sam Rivers), and the American songbook (Frederick Loewe). “This is sumptuous, collective improvisation of the highest order,” exclaims The Arts Desk. “It’s so good, it sounds effortless … Gorgeous.”

Seymour Reads the Constitution! has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo for Brad Mehldau for Elmo Hope’s song “De-Dah.” The album has made year’s best lists of Jazzwise and All About Jazz.

Thomas Bartlett & Nico Muhly
Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music

Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music, also released on May 18, is nine songs written by Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly plus three gamelan transcriptions by ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee, which inspired the new songs. Bartlett and Muhly play pianos and keyboards on the album, and Bartlett sings, joined by other musicians on strings and metallic pitched percussion. McPhee recorded a suite of Balinese ceremonial music with Benjamin Britten in 1941. Muhly says: “The project is named after Peter Pears, who was Britten’s partner and also an observer and collaborator of a larger community of musicians, writers, and thinkers.”

Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Brian Blade
Still Dreaming

Joshua Redman is joined by drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and cornetist Ron Miles for Still Dreaming, an album inspired by his father Dewey Redman’s band Old and New Dreams. That band had an all-star lineup of Ornette Coleman collaborators: Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell. Still Dreaming, released on May 25, features six new compositions by the new band plus one tune by Haden, one by Coleman. “Consistently riveting,” says The Washington Post.

Still Dreaming has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and has made year’s best lists from Rolling Stone, Jazzwise, Guardian, and Paste.

Punch Brothers
All Ashore

Punch Brothers returned with All Ashore, their first self-produced album, on July 20. “It’s a meditation on committed relationships in the present day,” says Chris Thile, “particularly in the present climate.” The Independent calls it “an album of rich instrumentation and understated beauty that reveals deeper nuances on each and every listen.” The Boston Globe says it’s “a deeply meaningful and downright gorgeous record.”

All Ashore has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album.

Read more here