Gateway Prog: Brad Mehldau explores rock roots of his jazz and spiritual paths

Whether via a range of collaborators, his choice of cover material, or even his piano work within a traditional jazz/standards setting, Brad Mehldau has spent a career pursuing his adventurous side.

Mehldau takes a look back and another step forward with Jacob’s Ladder, due March 18. As Nonesuch puts it:

“‘Jacob’s Ladder’ features new music that reflects on scripture and the search for God through music inspired by the prog rock he loved as a young adolescent—his gateway to the fusion that eventually led to his discovery of jazz.”

Indeed, the tracklist indicates compositions from Gentle Giant (“Cogs In Cogs”), Rush (“Tom Sawyer”, “Jacob’s Ladder”), and Yes (“Starship Trooper” sections) for starters.

The lead track and advance video seems like a sort of opening meditation/invitation (with a boys’ choir element). It also has a familiar ring for every rock radio listener of a certain vintage.

If you dig the idea and the album art, you can pre-order the music and an autographed print. At the least, it’s going to be worth a good first listen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *