Brad Mehldau - Finding Gabriel Vinyl 2LP
Brad Mehldau Finding Gabriel Vinyl 2LP
Brad Mehldau's new Nonesuch release Finding Gabriel comprises nine thematically related original songs and features performances by the composer/arranger on piano, synthesizers, percussion, and Fender Rhodes, as well as vocals. Guest musicians include Ambrose Akinmusire, Sara Caswell, Kurt Elling, Joel Frahm, Mark Guiliana, Gabriel Kahane, and Becca Stevens, among others.
Mehldau explains, "Finding Gabriel came after reading the Bible closely for the last several years. The prophetic writing of Daniel and Hosea resonated in particular, as well as the wisdom literature of Job and Ecclesiastes, and the devotional words of Psalms. The Bible felt like a corollary and perhaps a guide to the present day – one long nightmare or a signpost leading to potential gnosis, depending on how you read it. The archangel Gabriel appeared to Daniel, telling him, 'At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.' It seemed that the trick was to listen to Gabriel's words through all the noise and find a way to explain the bedlam, not only to oneself, but to a young person with less of a reference as to what is right-side up – perhaps one's own children.
"In this upside down state of affairs, the prophet is a fool: 'The man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred,' Hosea says. He meant that the prophet indeed speaks the truth, but no one believes it anymore – it's all fake news, no matter on which side of the fence you are standing. There is a temptation to make it all go away and escape into even more distraction, but this is only temporary refuge and leads one further into a matrix of falsehood. Eventually one comes up for air with more confusion and maybe even despair. With all the supposed connectivity, it seems that we are more separated from each other than ever, submerged in the deep water of unhappy solitude. Where to turn for the truth? Ask, with a humble heart, listen deeply, and the answers will come.
"The music initially sprang out of a new synth I was discovering – the Dave Smith/Tom Oberheim OB-6 featured on several tracks. I built up many of the tracks beginning with synths and Mark Guiliana on drums, in a process similar to our previous collaboration, Taming the Dragon. Layers were added, and the human voice became an important element – not with text, but as a pure expression of harmony and emotion. I worked with singers I've admired and been close to over the past several years – Becca Stevens, Kurt Elling, and Gabriel Kahane – and sang myself as well. Strings and winds were added and the project became more orchestral, with features from stellar musicians: trumpet player Ambrose Akinmusire, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, and violinist Sara Caswell.
"A new experience for me on three of the tracks was to go the opposite as well – doing everything as a one-man band. Both the collaborations and solo flights were a learning experience and full of discovery. John Davis, who engineered and mixed the record, was an integral player from beginning to end at Bunker Studios in Brooklyn, creatively contributing to the sonic landscape and finally putting all the pieces together."
Brad Mehldau Finding Gabriel Track Listing:
1. The Garden
2. Born to Trouble
3. Striving After Wind
4. O Ephraim
5. St. Mark Is Howling in the City of Night
1. The Prophet Is a Fool
2. Make It All Go Away
3. Deep Water
4. Proverb of Ashes
5. Finding Gabriel
We Also Recommend