In retrospect, their pairing should have been a no-brainer. Last year Brad Mehldau, a deeply impressionistic pianist, joined labelmate and veteran guitarist Pat Metheny on the simply titled Metheny Mehldau. They proved to be a dynamic duo capable of remarkable empathy and graceful improvisations. Already appreciative of one another’s musicianship, the oft-introspective Mehldau and eclectic Metheny forged an intelligent, accessible blend of sonic explorations and acoustic discipline that demanded a sequel. Quartet fulfills that need and more by offering seven compositions by Metheny, three from Mehldau and a co-written opener. With three duets on the disc, the intrigue of their earlier guitar-keyboard collaboration continues, notably on the wistful “Long Before.”
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