ROB Bourke and Tony Gould say in the liner notes that they want the listener to be “challenged” and to understand that every note has a reason for existing.
But their third album as a duo — after 1996’s Gateway and 1999’s Tin Roof for Rain — is an easy challenge, with carefully crafted explorations into the melodic beauty, space, timbre and dynamic variations of reeds and piano by players whose long friendship is evident.
Yet changes in mood betray complexity, as in Ambleside, when Gould’s piano introduces a cross-current of turbulence, or in If I Knew/Now, when slow beauty gives way to restlessness and urgency. Song-Song (Mehldau) is sombre, then dreamy, then haunting.
There’s more Here than first meets the ear.
File between: Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman
Download: If I Knew/Now, Song-Song
Review published previously in Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne