There is a Dance
Release date: September 15, 2022
Label: Newvelle Records
Featuring all original music from Elan Mehler, There is a Dance is Elan’s eleventh album and his most personal. The album is a tribute to his mother, who died the previous year. Long celebrated for his touch and ear for the lyrical melodic line, this record finds Elan in a mid-career embrace of the truly immediate.
“Making this record was a dream. Francisco Mela and Tony Scherr are musicians that I’ve been listening to with appreciation and often awe for many years. I didn’t share the music in advance with them. I made sure before handing them the manuscripts that there weren’t any words describing the music, no directions and no descriptions. With each piece, I would play through the melody alone on solo piano, and then without saying a word, we would cut a take.”
Tracks range from the immediacy of the title track and Then You to the stunning lyricism of Ruby D and We Breathe to the country charm of When You Were Blind. Throughout the music is both anchored and pushed forward by the extraordinary musicianship and empathy of legendary artists Tony Scherr and Francisco Mela.
Elan Mehler cofounded Newvelle Records with Jean-Christophe Morisseau in 2016. Since then they have produced 46 albums released on vinyl by some of the leading artists of our time. Most recently, Elan helmed an immense tribute album for the incredible pianist Frank Kimbrough who passed in late 2020.
“I had worked with both Tony and Mela most recently on the KIMBROUGH tribute album we recorded the previous spring. There were 68 musicians on that record, and Tony and Mela didn’t play together on the recording, but I immediately started imagining them together, as they have such clear voices on their instruments. Once I realized that they had never met, I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that I had to introduce them…”
For a more complete understanding of the framework for this recording please refer to the Liner Notes.
Newvelle Records is proud to present The Renewal Collection, a limited edition four-album series affirming the resilience of music through the anguish and loss of the Covid-19 pandemic. The collection, Newvelle’s first series release in two years, features original compositions from incredible artists, recorded over five months and pressed on the highest quality 180-gram vinyl. Now available for preorder, the full collection ships September 15 and individual albums will be released monthly between September and December 2022 while supplies last. Together, these records capture a wide range of musical reflections and celebrations on what it means to be jazz artists in this moment.
The Renewal Collection was recorded and mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Marc Urselli at New York’s East Side Sound between November 2021 and March 2022, and mastered by Josh Bonati. The four records are pressed on 180-gram vinyl, using patented Groovecoated Stampers by Matt Earley of Gotta Groove Records, and stored in incredible gatefolds designed by Studio Mococo, the multi-award winning team that designed Newvelle’s New Orleans Collection and KIMBROUGH tribute album. Given free rein to build the series in response to the music they heard, Mococo’s team designed covers featuring dramatic crops of stunning photography from the U.S. Library of Congress’s archives and timeless, yet unique typefaces.
Recognized for “its distinctive, brand-coherent album art” and for offering “a throwback to jazz’s midcentury glories” by The New York Times, Newvelle Records was founded in 2015 with a fundamentally different model for creating and distributing music in the digital age.
“Newvelle is arguably producing today’s best sounding new jazz recordings.”
"One of the aspects of this music that stands out is how articulate and musical Elan Mehler is.." Read the review here.
"Throughout, Mehler's wonderfully expressive touch and lyrical melodicism and the trio's empathy and sense of space compel the attention even in the quietest moments." Read the 4-star review here.
"This is an exceptional jazz trio recording, with Mehler’s witty, magnanimous style beautifully supported by Scherr and Mela in material that ranges from thoughtful and contemplative to sweetly swinging." Review here.
"The return of vinyl-only label Newvelle Records after a pandemic-induced hiatus is one of the best pieces of news to hit the jazz community this year.." Read the vinyl review here.
"Like a gospel hymn that can bring tears of joy, it might be something you might hope to hear at a memorial for a special friend.." Read the review here.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
"Mehler's piano has a large presence.." Read the review in the December 2022 issue of The Absolute Sound Magazine.
"During the pandemic, the vinyl-only label Newvelle Records had to hit the pause button. Happily, it has hit play again with four terrific new projects coming out this year." Full article here.