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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group: Offramp CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.14 | 154 ratings

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5 stars Pat Metheny had already come a long way in 1981 when he released 'Offramp', he had worked as a guitar teacher, had played with Gary Burton, released his first solo record in 1975 and had formed in 1978 the Pat Metheny Group . So in 1980 he took a little break from 'Fusion' recorded a 'traditional' post-Bob record and made a trip to Brazil where he played with local musicians, a trip that would show his influences on 'Offramp'. And Metheny did some shopping too and came back home with a new toy : a synth guitar featured here for the first time. Back in the studio all these new influnces gave way to a new groundbreaking PMG record.

Now,the real novelty on 'Offramp' in comparison to the earlier PMG records is the rhythm work,influenced largely by Brazilian music (Percussionist and vocalist Nana Vasconcelos who had aleady played with Metheny is now a fulltime member)and multiple percussion layers close to minimalisme. Soundwise the novelty is the large use of the synth guitar to a point that it's sometimes hard to tell the solos from Lyle Mays and Metheny apart.

The record opens with 'Barcarole' a short composition that announces the more 'aggressive' side of the new PMG sound with a pumping bass line, crash cymbals and the howling synthguitar.

The next track 'Are You Going With Me?' would become one of the trademark compositions of the PMG , a medium tempo repetitive multi-layerd rhythm track serves a s a base for a series of solos by Metheny on synth guitar and Lyle Mays on synth, that go climaxing sounding like wounded animals short before getting slaughtered.

'Au lait' a ballad with Brazilien vocal effects by Nana Vasconcelos and a 'normal' guitar solo by Metheny and and piano solo by Lyle Mays, followed by 'Eighteen' an uptempo track with multiple percussion layers and after a first theme a beautiful counterpoint theme on an electric 12 string and some organ work by Lyle Mays.

The title track presents a free improvisation for drums, bass and synthguitar and a short bass solo, announcing things to come.

After the storm the calm returns for 'James' the only 'country' influenced song that reminds the earlier PMG records including a nice guitar and piano solo.The record ends with a short Brazilien piece that combines a slow synth pad with percussion layers, vocal effects and a synth guitar solo.

'Offramp' is a Fusion masterpiece and the blueprint for many PMG records to come.

Alucard | 5/5 |


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