Mehliana is Brad Mehldau (Fender Rhodes, synthesisers) and Mark Guiliana (drums and effects), recording here the electronic music they’ve been touring for several years.Cue wild space-age synth sounds from Mehldau, with a strong suggestion of Herbie Hancock’s 1974 album Thrust. But Guiliana’s drumming puts this album in the present, and the fusing of 60s/70s keyboard sounds with modern jazz and electronic drum styles is breathtaking.
The electro-rock that Mehldau introduced into his Largo album has been taken much further in this new project. Guiliana calls his own music ‘experimental garage jazz’. It’s intriguing to hear this alongside Mehldau’s experimentation with classic synthesiser sounds. The dragon has been tamed, but not too much: there’s plenty of power as well as pathos in this highly original album- and extraordinary musicianship.