Elan is a virtuoso pianist and composer, best known for beautiful, thoughtful and elegant compositionally driven modern jazz. The Guardian described his debut album ‘Scheme For Thought’  as “dreamy, beautifully executed music…like classical music played with a jazzer’s spontaneity”.read more
In the autumn of 2007, London’s Vortex turned away a disgruntled crowd from pianist and composer Elan Mehler’s first packed-to-the rafters, sold-out UK appearance. Such was the buzz surrounding the impossibly tall Brooklynite – if not for his intriguing drumless line-up, then for his wistful, brooding, introspective sound, not commonly associated with downtown NY, and unlike anything coming from the Big Apple at that time. He had just released his debut recording, ‘Scheme For Thought’ on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, and rave reviews were beginning to trickle in.
‘The After Suite’ is Mehler’s second recording. This time however, Mehler chooses to include both drums and vocals, to create an equally beautiful, thoughtful and elegant album of mostly original, compositionally driven modern jazz. Mehler did not set out to create a ‘vocal album’, yet he wrote the music after “a life-changing break-up”, and during the process found himself hearing lyrics to what he was listening to. The challenge he admits “took me somewhat by surprise”.
“If it might have seemed rather too breathless to have hailed a debut as a masterpiece, the temptation cannot be resisted second time out. ‘The After Suite’ is a masterpiece with a capital ‘M’.” All About Jazz
Becca Stevens, a fellow New Yorker is one of two vocalists joining Elan on his collection of 11 tracks. Occupying Bjork territory, Stevens’ soft, delicate expressive voice is the perfect accompaniment to Mehler’s own gentle compositions, as well as Gillian Welch’s ‘I Dream a Highway’, a rendition that routinely hushes a crowd to silence. In contrast, her edgy, angular vocal lines complement Mehler’s rhythmically compelling melodies, and twist throughout improvised conversations.
Ex-Brooklyn neighbour, Adam McBride-Smith is the second vocalist to join Elan on two tracks. Mehler was so taken by McBride-Smith’s, ‘I Want to Leave You’, a song recently featured on BBC 6 Music’s ‘Introducing…with Tom Robinson’, that he flew to Paris, where Adam now resides, to record a sublime version featuring only piano and vocals.
‘The After Suite’ is a collection of deep, thoughtful reflective pieces that sees Mehler presenting a palate of moods, from anger, sorrow and contemplation, in what has now become his trademark style. A style summed up by The Guardian as “dreamy, beautifully executed music…like classical music played with a jazzer’s spontaneity”.