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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking) CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.85 | 85 ratings

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4 stars Sure, Latin jazz had been around for ages when the Pat Metheny Group released Still Life (Talking) in 1987. However, Latin jazz never sounded so modern and yet so primitive at the same time. This unique recording is one of the finest in the PMG catalog, and it makes the listener take notice of the true power of the creative forces within PMG, most notably Lyle Mays, whose piano work on this album is simply astounding. It also features some of the most melodic and imaginative guitar work of Pat Metheny.

Highlights from this album include "Minuano (Six Eight)". A dynamic opener, it hits the listener with beautiful vocal and keyboard swells in the first half with Metneny's unmistakable guitar sharing the melody with vocals in the second half. "Last Train Home" features Metheny's sitar-like guitar synth over a railroad rhythm. Perhaps the most visceral piece on Still Life (Talking), it conveys a true longing for home while riding the rails. Beautifully written, arranged, and performed, it is a PMG masterpiece. However, as good as "Last Train Home" is, things get even better with the bombastic "It's Just Talk". With a soaring vocal melody and a sexy Latin rhythm, it is a fun tune to listen to. Lyle Mays' exquisite chord-laden piano solo shows why he may be the best jazz pianist not named Tyner, Monk, or Jarrett, a point driven home with Mays' beautiful closer "In Her Family". "Third Wind" shows the primitive side of PMG's Latin jazz with lots of rhythmic complexity and a fantastic Metheny guitar solo to boot.

While not as lauded as other PMG albums, Still Life (Talking) shows a band at a creative high point. Furthermore, they had something to say, and they said it loudly. For fans of PMG, it is essential, but for fans of jazz and Latin jazz in particular, it is highly recommended.

jimidom | 4/5 |


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