Photo by Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
This week, a super-trio of John Scofield, Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana have come together to perform five nights of shows at the legendary Blue Note jazz club in Greenwich Village. Playing together in this configuration for the first time, the trio dove deep into each other’s compositions, expanding the song’s structures to the brim and beyond.
The night began with “Wake Up,” a composition by Brad Mehldau that say Guiliana segue into an electronic drum kit towards the end for a smooth, aquatic jam. From there, the trio went into “Pop Ho,” a funky number by Scofield. Hearing each member put their distinct accents on one another’s work proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend. Hearing Mehldau’s thick, synthesized bass tones atop Sco’s free guitar style, backed by Guiliana’s cracking kit made for a phenomenal sound.
With each player possessing a distinct ability to dive into any genre, the trio took full advantage. A funky reggae party dabbled in upstrokes and 80s Parliament bass stylings in the same track. A post-bop sound would segue into fusion at the hands of Mehldau’s diverse set of sounds in his rig. It was quite the way to kick off the Blue Note Jazz Festival, which runs throughout June with performances by Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Joshua Redman, and more. Coverage on those to come!