\"I put Pat up there with Miles, Coltrane or Keith Jarrett; musicians who raised the stakes in terms of the expressive possibility and emotional fulfillment a listener can receive from jazz.\"
For Metheny, that moment came several years later, when he first heard \"Chill\" from saxophonist Joshua Redman\'s 1994 disc Moodswing on a car radio, a track that featured the still barely known Mehldau on piano. As Metheny now recalls,
\"When the piano solo started, the playing was so compelling, I had to pull over to the side of the road to listen.\"
These artists, born almost a generation apart, have forged an artistic partnership based on shared inspiration, not just mutual admiration. For this disc, recorded last December at Right Track in Manhattan and produced by Metheny, both artists brought their own material. Their approach as a duo is so deeply simpatico, however, that\'s it\'s hard to discern without consulting the album credits who actually wrote what. This may be a first-time outing together for these performers, grabbing a few days from hectic touring and recording schedules, but it feels very much like a dialogue between old friends, something intuitive, natural and utterly absorbing for both listeners and players as it unfolds.
At times, their work has an understated, relaxed feel. Opening track \"Unrequited,\" which Mehldau had previously cut for his Art of the Trio, Vol. 3: Songs, gradually fills the speakers, like a conversation just coming into earshot. Conversely, on a track like Metheny\'s \"Ring of Life,\" in which the pair is joined in a quartet format by Mehldau\'s band-mates, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, the pace and mood gather intensity, as if they can\'t get their individual ideas out fast enough. As Metheny recalls, \"Those days in December were some of the most creatively satisfying days I have ever had as a musician. When it was all done and it was time to listen back to everything, I was taken aback by what I heard. It seemed like we always played together.\"
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