Anything Goes was recorded on a two day session in September of 2002. Two records came out of the date, one of all originals, the other of standards and covers. ‘Anything Goes’ is the latter. Mehldau returned to the studio with his longstanding trio with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums. The trio teams up with two other old colleagues as well here: Matt Pierson, who initially signed Mehldau to Warner Brothers and produced several of the earlier trio records, and James Farber, the renowned recording engineer who also recorded several of the trio records.
A straightforward acoustic jazz trio album, 2018's Seymour Reads the Constitution! nonetheless holds surprises for longtime Brad Mehldau fans. Moving away from his genre-bending collaboration with Chris Thile and his equally cross-pollinated exploration of J.S. Bach's classical pieces, After Bach, Mehldau settles into this warmly rendered set of originals and covers that fits nicely into his overall discography. Joining the pianist are his longtime associates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. Together, they've recorded often since the early 2000s, with Grenadier having worked regularly with Mehldau since the mid-'90s.
Brad Mehldau did an exceptional job of keeping his stellar trio together for seven years, as proven by his fine Art of the Trio dates and 2004's Anything Goes. But Jorge Rossy, the group's drummer, began spending more and more time away from music and at his home in Spain. Mehldau, who is almost prolific in his recording process, recruited drummer Jeff Ballard to replace Rossy on Day Is Done.
House on Hill may be a new recording, but the material is not. Virtually everything here was written, according to his liner notes like Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau writes about himself best in a session done in 2004 which yielded 18 songs with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy. The decision was made to split the sets into originals and covers. The covers became 2004's Anything Goes.
Nonesuch releases the Brad Mehldau Trio’s Where Do You Start, a companion disc to this spring’s critically acclaimed Ode, on September 18, 2012. Whereas Ode featured 11 songs composed by Mehldau, Where Do You Start comprises the Trio’s interpretations of ten tunes by other composers, along with one Mehldau original. Ode was widely praised, with London’s Daily Telegraph, in a five-star review, saying that it “shows Mehldau’s inventive powers are as fresh as ever … and the interplay with Ballard and Grenadier is masterly.” The Brad Mehldau Trio is Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums.
The title “Ants, Bees and Butterflies” may seem descriptive, but there are enough elements here to puzzle you. First of all, the Modular String Trio is not a trio, but a quartet. You can either accept it as an arithmetic incongruence or understand what’s in stake: that there’s a real string trio in this band, with a violin (Sergiy Okhrimchuck), a cello (Robert Jedrzejewski) and a double bass (Jacek Mazurkiewicz) defining the procedures, and the complement of a modular synthesizer (by Lukasz Kacperczyk), reinforcing the electroacoustic parameters introduced by Mazurkiewicz (the mentor of this project) when he electronically processes his instrument in real time. Based in Poland and Ukraine, these musicians could be from any other part of the world where the definition “chamber music of the modern day” means that improvisation can be a creative method and that the use of analog and digital technology a tool so obvious than the secular ones adopted in this recording – the bowed strings.
In listening to the five years of the Brad Mehldau Trio represented in this box set, one hears the unfolding of a new and significant part of modern jazz history, as the end of the 1990s opened the door on the explosive creative renaissance of the music in the 21st century. Nonesuch has compiled the five releases in the Art of the Trio series, as well as an additional disc of unreleased recordings from the same period (1997-2001), offering a serious reconsideration of what has already been accepted as a "next step" for the jazz piano trio's history…