Brad Mehldau and the Holy Scriptures

With "Finding Gabriel", Brad Mehldau releases a highly spiritual album that blurs the boundaries of jazz...

Door Max Dembo | Video van de dag | 22 mei 2019
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Qobuz

It would not be fair to say that Brad Mehldau rests only on his laurels and sticks to what he knows. With Finding Gabriel, the American pianist delivers an ambitious and multifaceted record that blows open the conventions of jazz.

Mehldau had previously co-released a very special album with drummer Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon in 2014, long before this more compact 2019 release. Above all, Finding Gabriel is the product of the pianists’ intense study of the Bible (it is the angel Gabriel’s name that is referenced in the title…).



I built up many of the tracks beginning with synths and Mark Guiliana on drums, in a process similar to our previous collaboration, {Taming the Dragon. Layers were added, and the human voice became an important element—not with text, but as a pure expression of harmony and emotion.}” From the offset, the record is an immediate shock. The result is a mystical and fascinating fusion of ideas. Behind his piano are the synths of engineers Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim OB-6, his Fender Rhodes, percussion parts and, for the first time, a microphone. Mehldau unfolds a symphony of wind instruments, strings and electronica while dabbling in jazz fusion (one sometimes thinks of Pat Metheny Group or Weather Report) in which the human voice takes on an essential role.



The American pianist is however not the only one to sing on this record as singers Kurt Elling, Becca Stevens and Gabriel Kahane are all invited to join. Finally, in terms of guests, the record is joined by the violinist Sara Caswell, the trumpetist Ambrose Akinmusire, the saxophonists Joel Frahm, Charles Pillow and Chris Cheek and the flutist Michel Thomas. From start to finish, Brad Mehldau’s Finding Gabriel is a unique and spiritual odyssey that differs very much from his other piano trios.

LISTEN TO FINDING GABRIEL BY BRAD MEHLDAU ON QOBUZ

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