Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Brad Mehldau: House on Hill

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

What? No Radiohead songs? In fact, Brad Mehldau’s new trio recording includes no standards either. House on Hill is a nine-song collection of original compositions, most of which are built on simple minor-key figures. So preoccupied is this disc with the idea of jazz composition that the prolific pianist devotes his typically dense liner notes, dissecting, at length, the balance between theme and variation.

This album is sort of a companion to 2004’s Anything Goes, in which the Mehldau trio interpreted others’ songs. Most of House on Hill was recorded during that same session in 2002, and finally, four years later, it sees the light of day. It also serves as the final document of Mehldau’s already-legendary trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy. (Jeff Ballard has since replaced Rossy.) Taken in its entirety, House on Hill has the cinematic sweep of a smart film score, varying its mysterious mood only slightly.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.