Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau: Ahmid-6




Pat Metheny (guitar) and Brad Mehldau (piano)


Metheny Mehldau (Nonesuch 79964)

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Pat Metheny (guitar), Brad Mehldau (piano).

Composed by Pat Metheny


Recorded: New York, December 2006


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

After a century of jazz, the piano and guitar duet is still a rare format, with only a few genuine masterpieces produced by this instrumental combination. Both guitarists and pianists love to mess around with chord voicings, and there is a great likelihood of clashing harmonies or muddy textures unless both performers play with great sensitivity and restraint. The 1962 collaboration between Bill Evans and Jim Hall still remains the litmus test by which this format is judged, but Metheny and Mehldau's 2006 session will inevitably be added to the short list of definitive guitar-meets-piano performances. Both Metheny and Mehldau are a natural for this type of partnership. Each has a history of functioning collaboratively within the context of a working band -- Mehldau with his stellar trio, and Metheny in many settings, but especially in his work with keyboardist Lyle Mays. They are both great listeners with what jazz people call 'big ears,' and the mutual respect is obvious throughout this CD. Mehldau does an especially good job of driving "Ahmid-6," and bass and drums are hardly missed, despite the high-energy tone of the composition. Metheny, for his part, never seems at a loss for melodic ideas, and offers up another winning solo.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

If you liked this track, also check out

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Related Links

Assessing Brad Mehldau at Mid-Career by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Brad Mehldau Performances by Ted Gioia
In Conversation with Brad Mehldau by Ted Panken


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