Mehliana: Taming the Dragon

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Mehliana: Taming the Dragon
Mehliana - Taming the Dragon.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 25, 2014
Recorded2013[citation needed]
StudioBunker Studios, Brooklyn, NY
GenreAvant-garde jazz, jazztronica, synth-jazz
Length71:43
LabelNonesuch
7559-79610 5
ProducerBrad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana
Brad Mehldau chronology
Nearness
(2011)
Mehliana: Taming the Dragon
(2014)
10 Years Solo Live
(2004–14)

Mehliana: Taming the Dragon is an album by Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana released on the Nonesuch label in 2014.[1] Mehldau's solo on "Sleeping Giant" was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo in the 2015 Grammy Awards.[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
All About Jazz4.5/5 stars[3]
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[4]
Down Beat2.5/5 stars[5]
The Guardian4/5 stars[6]
The Irish Times5/5 stars[7]
Jazzwise4/5 stars[8]
laut.de4/5 stars[9]
musicOMH4/5 stars[10]
PopMatters8/10[11]
Tom HullB+[12]

Reception[edit]

John Fordham of The Guardian noted, "Mehldau mostly plays old-school synths and Fender Rhodes keys, spinning melodic fragments into distant spaces to be replaced by grouchy low-end hooks and snare patterns, striking chirping treble melodies over chanting children's voices, planting steady, pop-song chord figures under acoustic themes laced with catlike whines... Guiliana balances drum-machine remorselessness with dazzling improv receptivity."[6] Thom Jurek of AllMusic commented, "This wild melange of keyboards, beats, textures, musical styles, samples, and electronic sounds reflects jagged yet accessible compositions and improvisations whose sonics are as important as their melodies."[4] Cormak Larkin of The Irish Times added "Even by Mehldau’s own standards, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon is a bold move, and one that may surprise, even alarm devoted followers of his acoustic playing. Teaming up with trail-blazing percussionist Mark Guiliana, Mehldau lays his talented hands on an array of electric keyboards, including the gorgeous Fender Rhodes, a prepared upright piano, and a winking bank of old-school 1970s synths. Rarely do both hands play the same keyboard at any given moment. And rarely has new music sounded so damned exciting."[7]

Track listing[edit]

Tracks 1, 6–8, 10, 11 composed by Brad Mehldau; all other tracks composed by Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana

  1. "Taming the Dragon" - 6:42
  2. "Luxe" - 5:40
  3. "You Can't Go Back Now" - 5:45
  4. "The Dreamer" - 5:24
  5. "Elegy for Amelia E." - 7:34
  6. "Sleeping Giant" - 6:17
  7. "Hungry Ghost" - 5:01
  8. "Gainsbourg" - 7:52
  9. "Just Call Me Nige" - 5:41
  10. "Sassyassed Sassafrass" - 5:52
  11. "Swimming" - 4:58
  12. "London Gloaming" - 4:57

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mehliana: Taming the Dragon". Nonesuch. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  2. ^ "57th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees". grammy.com. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Kelman, John (12 March 2014). "Brad Mehldau / Mark Guiliana: Brad Mehldau / Mark Guiliana: Mehliana - Taming the Dragon album review @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Mehliana: Taming the Dragon". AllMusic. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  5. ^ Hale, James (May 2014) "Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana – Mehliana: Taming the Dragon". Down Beat. p. 59.
  6. ^ a b Fordham, John (20 February 2014). "Brad Mehldau/ Mark Guiliana/ Mehliana: Taming the Dragon – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b Larkin, Cormak (14 March 2014). "Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana: Mehliana: Taming the Dragon". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  8. ^ Harris, Selwyn (February 2014). "Review Search". Jazzwise. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  9. ^ Kabelitz, Sven. "Trip mit Katze: Die spinnen, die Jazz-Pianisten!" (in German). laut.de. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  10. ^ Paton, Daniel (24 February 2014). "Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana - Mehliana: Taming The Dragon | Album Reviews". musicOMH. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Mehliana: Taming the Dragon". PopMatters. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Tom Hull: Grade List: Brad Mehldau". Tom Hull. Retrieved 13 July 2020.