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JazzTimes 10: All-Time Great Piano Trio Albums

The power of three is on full display in these groups

Brad Mehldau: Songs: The Art of the Trio Volume Three (Warner Bros., 1998)
Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jorge Rossy made up what is indisputably one of the best piano trios of the past 25 years—perhaps the best, though you can also make a similar argument for Mehldau’s current trio with drummer Jeff Ballard. Of the seven-and-change albums they made together, this one gets the nod because of its bold (at the time) inclusion of two songs from the modern rock era: Nick Drake’s “River Man” and Radiohead’s “Exit Music (for a Film).” Mehldau and crew interpret both with unfailing brilliance, somehow managing to sound both deeply introspective and almost casually grand at the same time.

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Originally Published
Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.