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Highway Rider

Highway Rider by Brad Mehldau
Released: Feb 2010
Label: Nonesuch
The last time Mehldau collaborated with cutting-edge rock producer Jon Brion, it resulted in Largo, one of the finest jazz albums of the modern rock age. This time out, they keep the subtle electronics, but sonically they expand even further with a full orchestra on a concept album about traversing the vast American landscape. Some pieces, such as "Now You Must Climb Alone," play like classical music; others feature a more Latin, hip-hop or avant-garde vibe. This is a real achievement made even stronger by saxophonist Joshua Redman's guest spots.
Nick Dedina