Groove Tunes

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Brad Mehldau Trio - Day is Done

Day Is Done takes its name from the Nick Drake song of the same name which hints at the nature of this album. It is an album of cover versions (although not entirely, there are a few original songs) but all played as jazz. Jazzy Nick Drake I hear you ask. I know, it sounds strange and hard to imagine but somehow it works, probably a lot better than you would expect it to. The title track is upbeat and fairly lengthy, weaving the melody from the original vocal line in and out throughout the song, using it as a theme to keep coming back to and to improvise around.

Naturally, the cover goes off on a tangent in to phrases and lines that you will not recognise but that is the beauty of this album, you may recognise what the cover is but they are songs in themselves as well, and often, unless you know the original song well, you may not even realise that the cover is.

There doesn't seem to be any theme or pattern as to what the album covers, just good songs that the band presumably love. There is a Radiohead cover (Knives Out) which is excellent and possibly the best Radiohead cover you will ever hear. Over versions on the album include old jazz standards, Nat King Cole, as well as the Beatles.

I'm generally not that keen of cover versions because often they are not very good and do not do justice to the original, but also because often the band uses cover versions to gain popularity, and they cover songs with no effort put in to it to make the song their own or to bring anything new to the track. However, Day is Done suppases all of my doubts along these lines.

Firstly, the album is a great jazz album in its own right, and even if you don't know any of the original songs (surely you do though?!) which testifys to how much Brad Mehldau cares about the originals in order to do them justice. And the covers are not being used just to gain popularity, Brad is an accomplished artist and it comes across that this album is a homage to the original artists rather than using their fame to bolster his own or to make up for a lack of talent and/or song writing skills.

You should give this album a try. If you are not a jazz fan then this could be one that could convert you. It is not particularly hard jazz and is surprisingly easy to listen to.


"If you are not a jazz fan then this could be one that could convert you."

Wow, you hit the nail on the head there. A friend of mine made me listen to this while we were drinking, I protested "I hate Jazz", they were determined, so I gave in & listened, so about 15 minutes later, I'm looking for a pen and paper to write down the name of the album & the artist so I would remember it.

So yeah, this is definitely one that anyone can enjoy.

I'm not a big music guy and am trying to expand my appreciation for it. Hopefully they have some of your suggestions on Youtube so I can check them out.

I'll listen to it and give my feedback soon ;)

great song, I really like jazz and softer music. Thanks for the suggestion

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