The companion piece to Brad Mehldau's other 2012 album, the all-original Ode, Where Do You Start features the pianist's trio covering material by other artists. Included are cuts by such eclectic non-jazz artists as Sufjan Stevens, Chico Buarque, and Jimi Hendrix. Also featured, however, are some choice jazz standards with Clifford Brown's "Brownie Speaks" and Sonny Rollins' "Airegin." Joining Mehldau here are his longtime cohorts bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. Clearly, the members of this trio have a sympathetic, almost psychic connection, and it is never anything but pleasurable to hear them interact. As Mehldau has spent much of his time either recording his original songs or covering a variety of contemporary pop songs, some listeners might breathe a sigh of relief to hear him stretch out on the more traditional jazz standards here. Of course, tracks like his poignant take on Elvis Costello and Cat O'Riordan's "Baby Plays Around" and his earthy reworking of Nick Drake's "Time Has Told Me" are as revelatory as any of his other pop reinventions. Ultimately, Where Do You Start is an intimate, impressionistic, and probing release that should certainly appeal to longtime fans of Mehldau's nuanced jazz style.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar