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Brad Mehldau - Finding Gabriel

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Finding Gabriel

Brad Mehldau

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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 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 Christ 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. © Max Dembo/Qobuz

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Finding Gabriel

Brad Mehldau

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1
The Garden 00:07:18

Michael Thomas, Flute, Alto Saxophone - John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, Voice, MainArtist - Chris Cheek, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone - Ambrose Akinmusire, Trumpet - Gabriel Kahane, Voice - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Joel Frahm, Tenor Saxophone - Becca Stevens, Voice - Charles Pillow, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

2
Born to Trouble 00:04:01

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Drums, Piano, Synthesizer, Voices, MainArtist - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

3
Striving After Wind 00:04:38

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Gabriel Kahane, Voice - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Becca Stevens, Voice - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

4
O Ephraim 00:05:21

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Synthesizer, Voices, MainArtist - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

5
St. Mark Is Howling in the City of Night 00:06:20

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, Voice, MainArtist - Lois Martin, Viola - Gabriel Kahane, Voice - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Becca Stevens, Voice - Sara Caswell, Violin - Noah Hoffeld, Cello - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

6
The Prophet Is a Fool 00:06:47

Michael Thomas, Flute, Alto Saxophone - John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Piano, Xylophone, Synthesizer, MainArtist, Spoken Voice Vocals - Chris Cheek, Baritone Saxophone - Ambrose Akinmusire, Trumpet - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Joel Frahm, Tenor Saxophone - Charles Pillow, Soprano Saxophone - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

7
Make It All Go Away 00:04:32

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Kurt Elling, Voice - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Becca Stevens, Voice - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

8
Deep Water 00:05:13

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, MainArtist - Lois Martin, Viola - Gabriel Kahane, Voice - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Becca Stevens, Voice - Sara Caswell, Violin - Noah Hoffeld, Cello - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

9
Proverb of Ashes 00:04:17

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer, Voices, MainArtist - Kurt Elling, Voice - Mark Guiliana, Drums - Aaron Nevezie, Electronics - Alex Deturk, Masterer - "Snorts" Malibu, Voice

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

10
Finding Gabriel 00:07:06

John Davis, Mixer, Engineer - Brad Mehldau, Composer, Producer, Drums, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Mellotron, Shaker, Voices, Hand Clap, MainArtist - Alex Deturk, Masterer

2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2019 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

Album Description

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 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 Christ 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. © Max Dembo/Qobuz

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