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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.09 | 127 ratings

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4 stars I have a really unusual story behind how I was introduced to Pat Metheny, so sit back and enjoy!

It all began more than a decade ago when one of my uncles, for some strange reason, decided that kids these days need to listen to some real music and so for my 11th(!) birthday I was handed over 3 LP's from his collection! First of all, who does that kind of stuff?!? It's definitely the most awkward present you can give to an 11-year old kid.

The records I was handed included two Pat Metheny albums Pat Metheny Group, Still Life (Talking) and Frank Zappa's Chunga's Revenge, presumably because it was his least favorite of the bunch. Although my family claims that it was then and there that I fell in love with Progressive Rock, I personally would place that occasion a few years later when I was introduced to King Crimson's debut masterpiece. Still I definitely have a soft spot for all of these three albums and I get really nostalgic every time I hear them. Maybe it's something to consider for all of you uncles out there!

You might be surprised but I've never actually bought another Pat Metheny album since then. Well, I did buy the CD re-issues of these two albums but I just haven't worked up the courage to hear anything else just yet. It has to do with the high expectations combined with childhood nostalgia that I have for anything from Pat and his group.

The music style on this band-titled debut album is soft and smooth jazz music that resembles vintage jazz. It might pass for a light Jazz Rock album but I won't be calling the material here Fusion any time soon. I'd say it's highly likable melodic jazz with a nice groove!

Since this was the first of the three so-called "birthday present"-albums that I listened to, the opening San Lorenzo will always have a place in my heart. It's just 10 minutes of highly likable music that almost fits any possible occasion. I'm actually a bit surprised and ashamed that I don't listen to it as much anymore! Jaco is another performance that slides into pure Jazz-territory while still keeping the nice groove, something that Pat Metheny Group do with such perfection.

Aprilwind and April Joy are almost like a brother and a sister where the latter keeps on the groove from the former and then expands it from there into another melodically strong instrumental compositions. While Lone Jack takes things back to rhythm-jazz territory wonderfully closing the album on another strong note.

I'm really not sure how I would feel have I heard this album for the first time today. This is a part of the reason why I just cannot bring myself to hear another Pat Metheny album. Still I would like to believe that I would have liked this music a lot. It wouldn't give me the added nostalgia that I have for this particular release but I just don't see how anyone could dislike such an excellent piece of music. It might not be the most advanced or adventurous Jazz Rock-recording out there but it's definitely one of the most atmospheric and joyful releases out there!

***** star songs: San Lorenzo (10:13)

**** star songs: Phase Dance (8:19) Jaco (5:37) Aprilwind (2:09) April Joy (8:13) Lone Jack (6:43)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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