Brad Mehldau and his drummer

Davo-London

Gold Member
Just saw Brad this week in London with his usual trio:

- Brad (piano)
- Larry Grenadier (Acoustic Bass)
- Jeff Ballard (Drums)

I saw Brad 2 years ago in Rome and criticised the drummer for his musical choices.

I got severely flamed by the jazz-heads. It was brutal.

So, having just seen him again I took another drummer with me for moral support.

I've learnt not to critique jazz drummers online but I wish oh how I wish I didn't have to spend the evening dreaming that Gadd or Morello or Erskine had been given the job instead.

Or even better someone like Seb Rochford would be perfect. Edgy, modern but respectful.

Maybe I'm much more of a traditionalist that I think. This was Jeff's stick choice:

- Combinations of 2 different sticks/mallets/brushes/hands (30%)
- 2 sticks (30%)
- 2 brushes (5%)
- 2 Mallets (5%)
- Wrong end of brushes (20%)
- Wrong end of mallets (10%)

Most of the time the music called for 2 brushes or 2 sticks. He used the wrong end of brushes much more than the brushes themselves. He never got in a groove with the bassist.

I know I'm going to get flamed again. But both myself and the other drummer (Larry - who is an American) thought Jeff was annoying and he detracted from the sublime piano and bass. The Piano and bass worked so well together that they sounded like they had precisely orchestrated their playing. But not so with Jeff.

Now I will be accused of being ignorant and not getting it! OK maybe I don't but oh I wish Brad had another drummer.

BTW there was a piano solo that was worth studying - I was absolutely spell-bound. Not because of some ludicrous speed or dexterity but the way he used chords and discords in so many ways with so much feel and emotion. Brad really is a top drawer.

Peace
Davo
 

Schorch

Junior Member
IMHO, if you don´t like the musicians that somebody like Brad choose to play with,

a) You don´t like him or, in case you do;
b) You don´t understand him.

It doesn´t mean that I think you´re wrong, but I don´t think you see his music from his point of view.

Just my opinion...
 

SkaaDee

Member
Just saw Brad this week in London with his usual trio:

- Brad (piano)
- Larry Grenadier (Acoustic Bass)
- Jeff Ballard (Drums)

I saw Brad 2 years ago in Rome and criticised the drummer for his musical choices.

I got severely flamed by the jazz-heads. It was brutal.

So, having just seen him again I took another drummer with me for moral support.

I've learnt not to critique jazz drummers online but I wish oh how I wish I didn't have to spend the evening dreaming that Gadd or Morello or Erskine had been given the job instead.

Or even better someone like Seb Rochford would be perfect. Edgy, modern but respectful.

Maybe I'm much more of a traditionalist that I think. This was Jeff's stick choice:

- Combinations of 2 different sticks/mallets/brushes/hands (30%)
- 2 sticks (30%)
- 2 brushes (5%)
- 2 Mallets (5%)
- Wrong end of brushes (20%)
- Wrong end of mallets (10%)

Most of the time the music called for 2 brushes or 2 sticks. He used the wrong end of brushes much more than the brushes themselves. He never got in a groove with the bassist.

I know I'm going to get flamed again. But both myself and the other drummer (Larry - who is an American) thought Jeff was annoying and he detracted from the sublime piano and bass. The Piano and bass worked so well together that they sounded like they had precisely orchestrated their playing. But not so with Jeff.

Now I will be accused of being ignorant and not getting it! OK maybe I don't but oh I wish Brad had another drummer.

BTW there was a piano solo that was worth studying - I was absolutely spell-bound. Not because of some ludicrous speed or dexterity but the way he used chords and discords in so many ways with so much feel and emotion. Brad really is a top drawer.

Peace
Davo
Hi

I don't think you should be apologetic for expressing your opinion, and I thank you for expressing it. I don't have much respect for someone who would flame another person for expressing an opinion.

On to Jeff Ballard.
I've only heard him on the two tracks from the Metheny/Mehldau CD and loved his playing so much I had to google the line up (It wasn't on my copy of the CD - hangs head in shame). I had to know if it was Wertico. I agree his play is a bit busy, but it really works on this CD but perhaps because his playing was on only 2 tracks.
After that I had to come to Drummerworld to see what people thought of Jeff. So I guess you could say I was impressed. But most of all I'm impressed with Mehldau's thick, lyrical playing. He seems to be this generation's Bill Evans. I understand your post. It could have been perfection in your eyes/ears, given a drummer more to your liking.
I think Brad would be fantastic with any line up. Let's hope he has a long career.


cheers
Scott
 
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