New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Jazzwise magazine has published its list of the Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2018, and including among them are three Nonesuch Records releases: Brad Mehldau Trio's Seymour Reads The Constitution!; Joshua Redman's collaboration with Ron Miles, Scott Colley, and Brian Blade, Still Dreaming; and Brad Mehldau's solo album After Bach.
Brad Mehldau Trio's latest album, Seymour Reads The Constitution!, comes in at No. 4 on the Jazzwise list of the year's best. On the album, the Trio performs three Mehldau originals combined with interpretations of pop songs (Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson), jazz tunes (Elmo Hope, Sam Rivers), and the American songbook (Frederick Loewe). "Brad Mehldau's teasing talent for setting a mood of fascinating expectation and then unhurriedly revealing its multiple implications has been a marvel of contemporary jazz since the 1990s, and rarely more so than on this riveting seventh album featuring his longterm trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard," writes John Fordham for Jazzwise. The trio "never stops fizzing with life."
Up next on the Jazzwise year's best list is Still Dreaming, at No. 5. Joshua Redman
is joined by drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and cornetist Ron Miles for the album, which was inspired by his father Dewey Redman's band Old and New Dreams. That band had an all-star lineup of Ornette Coleman collaborators: Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell. Still Dreaming features six new compositions by the new band plus one tune by Haden, one by Coleman. It's "one of Joshua Redman's most interesting projects thus far in his career," writes Jazzwise's Kevin
Le Gendre, and "his affinity to the music of Old and New Dreams ... is clear throughout this tribute (and extension thereof). Perhaps the most difficult thing to capture in any interpretation of somebody else's music is the spirit, and in this case that translates as a melodic zest, a rhythmic bounce and singing character in warm, visceral themes that then fan out into more complex, extremely conversational narratives."
Brad Mehldau's new solo album, After Bach, is on the list at No. 7. On the album, Mehldau performs four preludes and one fugue from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, each followed by an After Bach piece written by Mehldau and inspired by its WTC mate. "Mehldau doesn't take the easy route, you wouldn't expect him to," writes Robert Shore in Jazzwise, and "you wouldn't want him to either." Shore later concludes of the album that "you'll find it hard to resist." You can read more and see the complete Jazzwise list of the Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2018 at jazzwisemagazine.com.