Brad Mehldau: Day is Done


Day is Done


Brad Mehldau (piano)


Day is Done (Nonesuch 79910)

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Brad Mehldau (piano),

Larry Grenadier (bass), Jeff Ballard (drums)


Composed by Nick Drake


Recorded: New York City, March 13, 2005


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Jeff Ballard replaced longtime Mehldau drummer Jorge Rossy on Day is Done, and considering Mehldau's and Rossy's 10-year partnership, had some large shoes to fill. Ballard is Rossy's polar opposite—where Rossy was subdued and complementary, Ballard is boisterous and dynamic. His liveliness invigorates the trio on this track, which comes from the pen of tragically troubled British singer/songwriter Nick Drake. Drake's original is dark and distressed; one might expect the trio's version to follow suit, and it does initially, with Grenadier's bass melody embodying the singer's lonely melancholy. Though I wouldn't exactly say a smiling sun ever rises (the harmony keeps the sky dark and the clouds thick), Ballard adds a spark of life to the night and keeps things groovy and moving along. The trio engages in some energized discourse, fueled by the drummer's rabbit-like quickness and penetrating snare and cymbal work.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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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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