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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group: American Garage CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars "America Garage" is an excellent electric guitar and piano-oriented modern jazz album. Lyle Mays's keyboards consist in OMNIPRESENT lively piano and in some modern keyboards. Pat Metheny's particular electrical guitar sound is very urban. This record still has not the usual atmospheric and flamboyant sound of the next albums like "Letter from home" and "Still Life", mainly because Lyle Mays' modern keyboards arrangements are still too discreet and in the background here; however, the compositions are just very well achieved, and the tracks are often quite loaded and elaborated. The omnipresent fretless bass is very refined. I think the tracks are very accessible, especially the lively and dynamic "American Garage" and "Cross the Heartland", which sound like a music theme of a popular Canadian TV show of the 80's. The complex & catchy "Epic" is particularly impressive: it has many rhythm and air changes, and the instruments are very well synchronized; the track passes from loaded, structured and fast bits to more mellow ones, and vice-versa; the fast and delicate cymbals patterns combined with the melodic & jazzy piano and the fretless bass make this track among Metheny's best one so far; Metheny's fast and melodic electric guitar sound approaches the one on his best albums; finally, Lyle Mays' impossible piano solo on this track is ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL! All the tracks are excellent, and all the instruments generously participate to create true modern urban jazz instrumental tracks, without any flashy pattern.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The stable quartett delivers another strong album on "American Garage". I think it is slightly more rock-oriented than before. Unlike some other fusion bands, emotions are on good display with this tight band. Tight interplay, clear motives and taste set the mark. The first track is not that distinctive yet, crosses smooth jazz with contemporary jazz but has a nice jazz sound. "Airstream" is a mellow beautifully developed guitar driven melancholic song. "The search" is a counterpart with lush piano and later country influenced twangy guitar coming to the busy synthesizer/drum/bass end. "American garage" has a rocking feeling judging by its name and sound but there's plenty of guitar hooks to be developed. "The epic" is indeed an epic and crown juwel of the album - plenty of drum/synth/guitar interplay and dynamic bass in the background. The most typical fusion pace-faced composition with a lot of tasty solos. A beautiful album.
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Posted Saturday, August 1, 2020 | Review Permalink

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