The After Suite album review – Elan Mehler

This New York pianist looks like a jazz man, sounds like a jazz man, and yet makes music non-jazzers will love. The numerous vocal tracks on this album will reassure those who flee at the hint of a sax solo.

Adam McBride-Smith’s voice perfectly complements the floaty, melodic ballads of The New Breed and I Want To Leave You. And on He Nay Ma Tov, there’s an ECM (and hymn-like) quality to Mehler’s work, as Becca Steven’s voice glides over a delicate, acoustic piano.

It all makes for a recording that’s refined and melodious. Perhaps too melodious. Some will yearn for more tracks like Notom Road and After Suite Part 2 — complex compositions displaying a large dollop of improvisation and harmonic playfulness. For those critics, The After Suite is a jazz album that’s not quite jazzy enough.

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