I believe the most important contribution that the Brad Mehldau Trio makes to music as a whole is their capacity to create a fuller sound than one would normally expect. These three individuals are able to create something absolutely mesmerizing on the titular track. Each of the compositions on Ode are able to break free of typical length constraints and create a fully immersive sound scape. The different types of jazz that push forth a track like 26 are precisely why the Brad Mehldau Trio are at the peak of their game. This is not merely a disc of jazz standards warmed over, but rather is something that looks to redefine jazz as a genre while establishing the act as one that is continually on point.
There is a good sense that these three possess the proper reverence for their elders; there are takes on Stan Kenton and Kurt Veill before the disc closes up shop. The production of this album further establishes it as a must have. The recording of a track like Bee Blues is sufficiently cozy to make it feel as if one is in the studio with the act, while wide enough to allow for each instrument to shine.
Ode is a disc that spins off in a number of directions; the Brad Mehldau Trio is talented enough to make them all work together. The Days of Dilbert Delaney is the final track on Ode and provides a solid ending for this effort. Regardless of whether one is a fan of jazz music, I believe that Brad Mehldau Trio’s Ode is one of the first must-have albums we have received this year.
Top Tracks: Wyatt’s Eulogy for George Hanson, Dream Sketch
Brad Mehldau Trio – Ode / 2012 Nonesuch / 11 Tracks / http://www.nonesuchrecords.com