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Pat Metheny - Zero Tolerance For Silence CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny


Jazz Rock/Fusion

1.77 | 46 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The wealth of negative ratings here should tell you that something is actually happening with this music.

By reading the other reviews here, you'd suspect PM attempted to create another record consistent with his group recordings, more mildly swinging and melodic offerings, played with virtuosity, broadly appealing to fans of so-called "jazz music" and "rock music" alike -- but he failed. Come on. PM knew what he was doing. His records are generally popular (or, at least, popular relative to other records store clerks file under "jazz"), and he's made quite a few for Geffen. This has allowed him to insist to his record company that this music be released to the public. Geffen agreed, likewise knowing what it was releasing.

Living deep within Pat Metheny's soul is a musical scientist. He knows what he's doing, he sets his own parameters, imposes his own structure and draws his own conclusions. Usually, he's the long-haired picker with the winning smile who leads his virtuoso band through familiar and appealing territory. Occasionally he's the Ornette Coleman acolyte paying homage to the master (those outings are likewise mostly panned by reviewers from his usual audience). Here he stands alone, having succeeded in bringing to his listeners a stark and unforgiving music which they'd never elect to put in their ears had they known better. It's a bold risk which has not resulted in his legions of fans suddenly embracing textured music in which harmony and meter are not prioritized. I doubt he expected such.

I shall not attempt to describe the music on this recording. Professor Monk's phrase "dancing about architecture" applies. I find the music here to be immensely revealing about Pat Metheny the musician and the guitar player (yes, there is an important distinction). If you're expecting a follow-up to "San Lorenzo," then this music is difficult. Try taking it on its own terms. It's a strong shot of espresso -- or whiskey. But it bears repeated listening. At times, the music is quite gentle and nuanced. Give it a chance.

Or, don't. But please recognize that an artist violating expectations, even for such learned and esteemed listeners whose reviews grace these pages, risks a strong, negative backlash, not for the music itself, but for the unmet anticipation.

socrates0515 | 5/5 |


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