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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars This album is another amazing Jazz entry in the musical journal of Pat Metheny (I don't mean that literally, of course, as there are no lyrics). I find this to be among Pat Metheny's most mystic, atmospheric and beautiful albums. Unlike much of Offramp, it is less jazzy and often mellow, more experimental. The mood is gripping, the feel is ever-changing, the melodies are catchy, and the musicianship is noteworthy. Pat Metheny also took a step away from their traditional jazz by experimenting with electric sounds largely led by drums with "The Roots of Coincidence". As always, Pat Metheny delivers another beautiful, creative jazz experience. Highly Recommended.
Report this review (#89892)
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Congratulations for including Pat Metheny in your site! This is one of his best albums. The reason is the creativity of the compositions, the quality musicianship and the soaring lyricism - the music is so visual, you can almost see a movie in your mind's eye as you listen. There are progressive elements that could be picked out here and there (I always thought that Pat is an in-the-closet prog-head - he finally "came out" on the The Way Up album). The albums just kept on getting better and better, until his ultimate masterpiece, The Way Up was released a year or so back. It's going to be tough to top that one, but Imaginary Day is pretty close.
Report this review (#99716)
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of Metheny's most eclectic albums and probably the best album to get for all of you prog rock fans. It is surprising to see Metheny in the archives as he has very little in common with rock in my estimation, however when you think about it, this album perfectly exemplifies all the key elements of prog, according to the definition of the "prog rock?" section of this site.

The title track is a stunning opener with the main pentatonic theme being transformed from slow ethnic style at the beginning into a harmonized burner at the end. In between of all of that there is a fast exposition and a long solo played on fretless guitar that doesn't fail to amaze. It's all so amazing to think how elaborate all the sounds are, how elaborate the dynamics between the band members are, how elaborate the harmonic motion is and how elaborate the rhythmic voids are. It all sounds so easy, an equivalent of a ballerina performing complicated moves with utmost ease.

The second track "Follow Me" is the polar opposite of the first. It has a simple alternative rock sound to the untrained ear with guitar strumming throughout in 4/4 time and very catchy being lyriclessly sung and played on synth-axe. I didn't like this "song" much until I heard Anna Maria Jopek's version of it with actual lyrics.

The next track is a short enough interlude with what sounds like noodling on that infamous guitar with about 3 necks and 4 sets of strings. Good ambience and you wonder just how we have traveled over just 3 tracks and it's scary to think Metheny doesn't repeat himself even once on this album!

"A Story Within Store" is more of a straightforward jazz tune with great soloing from all involved, at first it doesn't seem exciting but the beauty is there. That is one of the key features of any good Metheny/Mays album, you have to listen to it and you like it better with time, even the tunes that sound harmless the first time you hear them.

"The Heat of the Day" is an exhilarating number with some spanish influences complete with what sounds like flamenco style castanets. This is another very proggy song with meters changing every other bar, and some amazing harmonic themes. Somewhat similar to Al di Meola's more recent work but oh so much better!

After that we have another simple theme, in fact that seems to be the general theme of this album, the odd-numbered tracks are adventurous and the even-numbered tracks are simpler and melodic, so if it is prog you're looking for start by only listening to tracks 1, (3), 5, 7, 9.

"Roots of Coincidence" is one of Metheny's off-the-wall compositions and it is really atmospheric industrial metal. No I'm not kidding! A heavily distorted riff is accompanied by electronic sounds, with a guitar solo so technical and involved it would make even John Petrucci blush.

The penultimate creates a gorgeous atmosphere with nylon string guitar. Amazingly intense despite its soft dynamics and slow pulse, the tune would move even a dismembered carcass.

Finally we arrive to our destination to have a brilliant awakening - a jig in 9/8 with different meters implied by accentuations of different beats, under a cascade of liquidy synths ever so perfectly harmonized subsequently distorted into modal vision.

In the end, I am happy to have Metheny here, have never thought of him in same lines of thoughts as Yes or Genesis, but after this not-as-thourough-as-usual listening session I realized that prog doesn't only reside in rock.

Report this review (#132247)
Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
4 stars Imagine a day when Pat Metheny becomes Eclectic:

Imaginary Day is definitely one of Metheny's most eclectic and complete albums, emphasizing a good mix of genres through his unique acoustic/electric guitar sound with the addition of some musicians, besides the classic line-up of Lyle(acoustic piano and keyboards), Steve(acoustic and electric bass) and Paul(drums), there's Mark Ledford on vocals, trumpet, flugerhorn and bass trumpet, David Blamires on vocals, mellophone, baritone, baritone acoustic guitar, electric guitar, violin, recorder and trumpet, and then you got Mino, David(Samuels), Glen and Don on percussion.

The album opens up with the title track. An extraordinary 10 minute piece that opens up in the style of Indo-Prog/Raga Rock sub-genre of here. The song evolves beautifuly to the classic Metheny style, with a wonderful electric guitar solo leading the second half of the tune till it finishes.

The album continues with Follow Me, an up-beat acoustic tune with Pat's typical synth guitar solo, as well as some subtle piano in the end with some percussion, giving it a samba/jazz feel to it.

The track that follows is Into the Dream. Pat's acoustic guitar leads this song, as Imaginary Day, this one also has a Indo-Prog/Raga Rock feel. However, Into the Dream is really just an opener to the next song, A Story Within a Story, a much jazzier oriented instrumental, but still the bass and piano gives it a samba feel to it. Besides having another promising electric guitar solo, it has at the end an emotional trumpet solo.

You think that the Indo-Prog/Raga Rock influence is just for those tunes, well get prepared for the stunning acoustic and percussive intro of The Heat of the Day. It then evolves to classic Metheny jazzy style, which in here Lyle gets the chance to shine with his wonderful and unique piano, and then Pat delivers a magnificent, as always, synth guitar solo.

To lower your pulse, Pat delivers you the gentle acoustic tune called Across the Sky, with some powerful yet subtle piano and guitar chords.

Prepare to be shocked with The Roots of Coincidence, with an electronic intro and some petrifying electric guitar you now know that Pat is unpredictable. The song also carries an excellent guitar solo with the fast electronic intro as the rhythm. The last minutes of the tune are soft, yet dark, with acoustic guitar and keyboards.

Next stop, To Soon Tomorrow, another soft acoustic song as Across the Sky, but in a more jazzy rhythm.

The album ends with the wonderful The Awakening, with the celtic-esque intro to the jazzy middle part with Lyle's piano having the lead. Finally the tune and the album finishes with Pat's everlasting acoustic guitar fading away gently.

Such a fantastic album, which carries through jazz to frantic electronic rythms to samba and even celtic style. This album is a proof that Pat can really progress from his classic, yet amazing, jazz fusion stlye of the 80's to an eclectic style which has some very promising compositions.

4 stars: Recomended for those who want a more varied version of Jazz Fusion, which really fuses much more than just rock or funk with jazz.

Report this review (#196086)
Posted Monday, December 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars PAT METHENY is one of the most commercially successful jazz artists on the planet. This is surprising because of all the jazz I have heard, nobody else comes so close to capturing the progressive spirit as does Metheny. I suppose many of his fans don't know this...they just like his "cool" sound.

As more of a rigid symphonic and folk fan, I have never been totally taken with Metheny and his group, but I have always appreciated and even enjoyed many of the snippets I have heard. All his guitar work shines, with his synthesizer guitar imparting a compelling mid western and far eastern amalgam. I wish I could be so enthused by some of the high pitched synthesizers or nattering wind instruments, and I wish the disk could hold my attention long enough to get to the core of what he and his merry men are trying to say. But maybe that isn't the point.

For me this is background music, but I know it isn't supposed to be, and I don't mean to be harsh or dismissive. On the title cut, "Follow Me" and "Into the Dream", the background suffuses me with comfort like a hot water bottle on an easy chair. The closer "Awakening" channels Lyle Mays stunning piano and Metheny's steady strumming through an elegantly orchestrated arrangement. In between, there is much to like or meditate to. I just wish I could decide which I prefer and go with it.

Perhaps it is Pat Metheny's hold on the imagination through which he finds greatest kinship with progressive artists and fans alike. Any day can be a Pat Metheny day, but not every day should be..

Report this review (#276483)
Posted Monday, April 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The last Group album to be graced with the drumming of the amazing Paul Wertico (and to contain my favorite core of PM Group musicians: Pat, Lyle, Paul, and bassist extraordinaire, Steve Rodby--one of the finest rhythm sections EVER assembled. The band's infusion of world musics continues with more Indian and Southeast Asian sounds and structural elements as well as some from Scotland. Plus, this album came with one of the most fascinating (and ingenious) album covers ever! Code!

Five star songs: My favorite song on the album and one of my all-time favorite Pat Metheny songs, the Scottish-infused, 9. "The Awakening" (9:39) 10/10); 1. "Imaginary Day" (10:11) odd but effective mixing of SE Asian sounds with some pretty raw and raunchy guitars (9/10); 2. "Follow Me" (5:56) this one grabs you right from it's start with the multiple layers of melodies and riffs but these catchy riffs occur and recur throughout (9.5/10); 3. "Into the Dream" (2:28) harkens back to earlier PM stuff (New Chautauqua and the song "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls") (9/10), and; the techno-contemporary (for 1997), trip-hoppy blended with minimalist (and Grammy Award winning), 7. "Roots of Coincidence" (7:48) (9/10). Four songs: the more straightforward jazz song--with some awesome muted trumpet play, 4. "A Story Within the Story" (8:01) (8.5/10); the Spanish flamenco feeling epic with some of my favorite Lyle piano passages and percussion work from the support staff, 5. "The Heat of the Day" (9:24) (8.5/10); one of Pat's requisite soft emotive guitar-based pieces (with some nice orchestral support--which I live-- la "Secret Story"), 6. "Across the Sky" (5:03) (8.5/10), and; the other, more acoustic, requisite Pat solo guitar-based soft-jazz piece, 8. "Too Soon Tomorrow" (5:51) (8/10).

4.5 stars, rated up for overall high quality and extraordinary musicianship.

Report this review (#459562)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Review Permalink

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