- Released: June 8, 1999
- Label: Warner Bros / WEA
JazzTimes - 10/99, p.78
"...in a formula-ridden world, the music fits no formula... he succeeds best when he reaches deepest into his jazz sensibility and finds... expression akin to the spirit of Lennie Tristano... intriguing..."
- 3.Memory's Tricks
- 4.Elegy for William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg
- 5.Lament for Linus
- 6.Trailer Park Ghost
- 7.Goodbye Storyteller
- 9.The Bard Returns
Solo performer: Brad Mehldau (piano).
Recorded at Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles, California on February 1 & 2, 1999. Includes liner notes by Brad Mehldau.
Recording information: Mad Hatter Studios, L.A., CA (02/01/1999/02/02/1999).
An avid student of classical music and a fan of pop, Brad Mehldau always seemed like something more than a jazzman, even though most of his '90s recordings found him prospering in the piano trio format. By the end of the decade, he was ready to break from his past and explore new directions via his first solo piano album. Like DEATH & THE FLOWER by Keith Jarrett (a touchstone by virtue of his non-bluesy, impressionistic approach to jazz), ELEGIAC CYCLE is at least ostensibly a "concept album" about the way communing with mortality brings one a greater appreciation of life.
Freed even from the minor restrictions of post-bop, Mehldau lets his fingers run free, indulging the classical side of his muse more fully than ever before. In these often somber but always inviting pieces, his quiet dynamism melds the modernism of Jarrett with the concise archness of Satie and the guarded romanticism of Debussy. ELEGIAC CYCLE goes beyond categories like jazz or classical; it's simply an album of intense, emotional compositions by a gifted young artist.