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Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau: Metheny Mehldau

Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau may have each migrated to Nonesuch, but a duo collaboration wasn’t necessarily foreordained. All the right ingredients were present, however: simpatico outlooks on playing and writing, heaps of mutual respect and a longstanding desire to work together. That they are leading figures of their respective generations, capable of creating enormous buzz as a team, certainly didn’t hurt.

Yet nothing about this encounter is market-driven or contrived. Thankfully, it is not a recitation of greatest hits, but rather an occasion for the unveiling of beautiful new works by both players. Nor is it a chops session, although the atmosphere of restraint makes the chops all the more breathtaking. Most of the tracks are duets, two of which feature acoustic guitar. The members of Mehldau’s current trio-bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard-join for two of the seven Metheny pieces.

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