Art of the Trio, Vol. 5: Progression from Warner Bros / Wea
On this lengthy two-CD set (over two hours), pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jorge Rossy further explore the art of the jazz trio before a live audience. Mehldau, of course, is the main voice, exhibiting a lyrical touch and a wide, encyclopedic knowledge of the jazz piano. Although Bill Evans is obviously the primary influence, one can hear echoes of Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Hank Jones, as well. Mehldau has absorbed his influences well, sounding neither imitative nor radical, and though solidly in the tradition of conventional jazz piano, he is adding his own verve, vitality, and intelligence to the genre. From jazz standards (“The More I See You“ and “It Might as Well Be Spring“) to pop kitsch (“Cry Me a River“ and “How Long Has This Been Going On“) to hipster originals (“Dream's Monk“ and “Sublation“), Mehldau and crew demonstrate that they have listened well to their progenitors, following the well-traveled path of using familiar melodic material as a means to investigate mood, texture, and dynamics.