Progression: Art of the Trio (Volume 5)

Brad Mehldau Trio

Progression was recorded in September of 2000 at the Village Vanguard. It is a double CD set of the trio with Mehldau, Grenadier and Rossy, and spans a wide range of material. There are the ballads: ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill,’ and ‘Secret Love’ build on the lyrical approach that the trio has taken so far, while ‘Cry Me A River,’ and ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’ have a torch-like, slow-swinging quality, with more of a focus on the blues feeling in the interpretation.

About the latter two ballads, Mehldau comments, “I love to play that sort of ‘walking ballad,’ where you really sit in that tempo and stay there. That’s something we started to get to around the time we recorded ‘Progression,’: a ballad approach that’s a little less rhapsodic, a little more grounded in the pulse itself.” The opening two tunes of the album are the standard, ‘The More I See You,’ and Mehldau’s own ‘Dream’s Monk,’. Although they are indexed separately, they are actually a medley from one performance.

Taken as a whole, they build on the ‘epic’ formal approach Mehldau initiated on ‘Nice Pass’ on ‘Art of the Trio, Vol. IV’, by using metric modulation as a rhythmic device again, and stretching the harmonic and thematic material of the arrangement of the standard into the following original. ‘Dream’s Monk’ nods to the great jazz pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk, and along with ‘Sublation,’ another Mehldau original, shows how Monk’s music has impacted Mehldau. Nick Drake’s ‘River Man’ is an emotional high point to the set, steadily building towards a passionate climax.


Progression: Art of the Trio (Volume 5)

Disc 1:
01. The More I See You
02. Dream’s Monk
03. The Folks Who Live On The Hill
04. Alone Together
05. It Might As Well Be Spring
06. Cry Me A River
07. River Man

Disc 2:
08. Quit
09. Secret Love
10. Sublation
11. Resignation
12. Long Ago And Far Away
13. How Long Has This Been Going On


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Brad Mehldau (piano)
Larry Grenadier (bass)
Jorge Rossy (drums)

Matt Pierson