Artist: Brad Mehldau
Title: After Bach
Genre: Instrumental
Release Date: 2018
Duration: 01:09:16
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Nonesuch

Without being a mandatory baptism of fire, Jean-Sbastien Bach has always been a captivating magnet for many jazz musicians. So much so that people like Jacques Loussier, Keith Jarrett, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dan Tepfer or Edouard Ferlet to name but a handful, all tackled head on, and for good reason, the work of the Cantor of Leipzig . The choice made by Brad Mehldau is a hybrid. The American pianist does not create here a jazz album strictly speaking — fans of “Jazzy Bach” can go home straight away — but he mixes themes of Bach — four preludes and a fugue — to personal and contemporary pieces; as intriguing answers or mirror games to original works.

The exercise is all the more interesting because part of Bach’s work took the form of improvisation. As for Mehldau, his style, but also his compositions, have always contained elements echoing the German composer. We know the rhythmic force of Bach’s writing that appeals to jazz musicians. But here, the pianist has thought through his record in its entirety, never trying to separate his works from that of the other. The result is therefore confusing at first (especially for those familiar with the preludes and fugues of the original) but fascinating above all else. Because After Bach is anything but an impressive show of class (Brad Mehldau does not need that much, his virtuosity as a great no longer needs to be proven) but rather an exciting reflection on the life of a score through the centuries.

Tracklist:

  1. Before Bach Benediction – 5:25
  2. The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 848 Prelude No. 3 in C# Major – 1:21
  3. After Bach Rondo – 8:21
  4. The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II, BWV 870 Prelude No. 1 in C Major – 2:36
  5. After Bach Pastorale – 3:47
  6. The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 855 Prelude No. 10 in E Minor – 2:16
  7. After Bach Flux – 5:06
  8. The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 857 Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F Minor – 6:10
  9. After Bach Dream – 7:50
  10. The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II, BWV 885 Fugue No. 16 in G Minor – 3:04
  11. After Bach Ostinato – 12:20
  12. Prayer for Healing – 11:06

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