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Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Pat Metheny Watercolors album cover
4.11 | 107 ratings | 6 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Watercolors (6:30)
2. Icefire (6:08)
3. Oasis (4:05)
4. Lakes (4:46)
5. River Quay (4:57)
- Suite:
6. I. Florida Greeting Song (2:32)
7. II. Legend of the Fountain (2:32)
8. Sea Song (10:18)

Total Time: 41:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Pat Metheny / 6- & 12-string electric guitars, 15-string harp guitar

- Lyle Mays / piano
- Eberhard Weber / bass
- Danny Gottlieb / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Dieter Bonhorst with Lajos Keresztes (photo)

LP ECM Records ‎- ECM 1097 (1977, Germany)

CD ECM Records ‎- 827 409-2 (1985, Germany)

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PAT METHENY Watercolors Music

PAT METHENY Watercolors ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PAT METHENY Watercolors reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Watercolours' was released in 1977 and was Pat Metheny's second solo record and at the same time the beginning of the Pat Metheny Group ( bassplayer Mark Egan is still missing) and here the bass is played by ECM labelmate Eberhard Weber.The record consists of mainly athmospheric tracks plus some of the country influenced Metheny songs that would make his fame. What comes to my mind : Painting with notes.

The title track is already one of these immeadiately recognizable medium tempo, country influenced songs with the typical Pat metheny harmonic structure. One feels that Metheny has played trumpet before the guitar, his melody lines are very strong. After the exposition of the theme Metheny a takes a solo followed by a piano solo and a last re-expostion of the theme.

'Icefire' is an athmospheric track for solo harp-guitar, where Metheny's use of harmonics gives an extra eary feeling and 'Oasis' is another athmospheric track for acoustic guitar and bass. Weber plays bowed bass in a high register, producing a beautiful synth like texture, over which Metheny plays arpeggios.

'Lakes ' introduces a nice country motive on the guitar, a tricky rhythm track and a fine piano solo from Lyle Mays.

' River Quay' is a Pop/Soul song with Metheny's singing guitar replacing the vocals, maybe the only song which is a little too pleasant, but an interesting piano solo saves the day.

The next two tracks form a small suite, the first part a race for guitar and drum and the second part an acoustic guitar solo with an a beautiful bossa influenced theme.

The last track 'Sea Song' again an athmospheric track is introduced by piano, guitar and cymbal brushes until Eberhard Weber joins on Bowed bass delivereing a beautiful pattern over which Metheny soloes.

A beautiful record announcing already the PMG.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was one of the first jazz records that I ever listened to voluntarily. I guess the pleasant overall feeling makes it quite accessible. There are lovely impressionistic elements on this record too, but no cacophonies or very complex song structures.

The title track "Watercolors" opens the album, and introduces Pat's clean and pleasant guitar sound. Sometimes his style goes so sweet and happy that it sounds a bit banal to my ears, but at least this song doesn't do that. And I must admit that I just love that acoustic piano which Lyle plays. The best parts of this record are in my opinion the meditative and atmospheric slow songs, which start immediately after the opener. "Icefire" is a quiet solo guitar piece, and "Oasis" is also a quiet, Arabic influenced piece. Then there are some shorter and happier country influenced tunes. "Lakes" is quite OK, but "River Quay" and "Suite" are maybe a bit too sweet for my taste. The long closing track "Sea Song" is the maybe the best track by Pat that I have heard. The piano, drums and bass create beautiful, delicate waves on which Pat starts to surf with his guitar. The result is so strong and full of longing, that I cannot describe it sufficiently, it's just unbelievable.

I would recommend this album for all of those prog heads who are interested of jazz, but haven't yet got into it. Also those who are interested of good guitar players and soothing, peaceful music should check this out.

Review by fuxi
4 stars Pat Metheny is one of the world's best-selling jazz musicians. He must be the one jazz guitarist whose albums are likely to appeal to lovers of symphonic prog - particularly his epics IMAGINARY DAY and THE WAY UP.

Considering the embryonic Pat Metheny Group recorded WATERCOLORS as long ago as 1977, it's remarkable that most of the characteristics of Pat's definitive style are already in place.

First of all, you'll recognise those typically joyful and breezy melodies Pat's band is known for ("Watercolors", "Lakes", "River Quay"); they are full of the leader's crystalline solos and Lyle Mays' tuneful piano excursions. (The main difference, here, with Pat's later experiments is that he sticks to the sound of the traditional jazz guitar, and there's no trace of wordless vocals or latin-inspired soft jazz - thank heaven!)

Secondly, Pat's lyrical solo experiments, played with lots of arpeggios on harpguitar and acoustic guitar, and obviously inspired by folk music, are also present ("Icefire", "Legend of the Fountain").

However, the most prophetic track on this album must be the ten-minute "Sea Song", which clearly foreshadows the style of albums such as SECRET STORY and THE WAY UP. Although "Sea Song" is performed by no more than four musicians, it has a symphonic feel to it, which it owes particularly to the extraordinary contribution of Eberhard Weber, who plays its main melody on his custom-designed (bodiless) double bass (using a bow). Indeed, "Sea Song" is almost overwhelming in its grandeur - and I find it fascinating that Pat here sounds as if he's guesting on one of his own compositions (as is Lyle Mays).

So let me take this opportunity to briefly pay tribute to Eberhard Weber. Metheny must have got to know the German virtuoso when, just before he turned twenty, he started playing alongside him in Gary Burton's band. Together they recorded two wonderful albums, RING and PASSENGERS, the first of which has the extraordinary lineup of vibraharp (Gary Burton himself), two guitars (Metheny and Mick Goodrick), drums (Bob Moses) and two basses (Weber and Steve Swallow). I highly recommend those albums to anyone who enjoys Pierre Moerlen's Gong, or prog-fusion in general!

As for Weber's own oeuvre, everything he does is worth hearing, but his most progressive album must be YELLOW FIELDS, which features Eberhard himself on bass, Charlie Mariano on soprano sax, Jon Christensen on drums and Rainer Brueninghaus on acoustic and electric pianos. (Brueninghaus uses mellotron, too - which gives some of YELLOW FIELDS' compositions a truly lush and gorgeously majestic feel.)

Review by Gooner
5 stars Another masterpiece by Mr. Metheny. If you crave the more expansive parts from Steely Dan's "Aja" or "Katy Lied" without the ridiculous lyrics...then this CD is a no-brainer. Also of note is the fluid bass playing of one Eberhard Weber. Put this CD on while travelling in northern Pennsylvania during the Fall and get ready for an ethereal trip of autumnal beauty like no other. This is smart jazz/fusion with not a note out of place.
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Very soft,atmospheric, mainly acoustic jazz album by Pat Metheny. In fact ( as in case with Chick Corea's "Return To Forever" album) there is first album of future Pat Metheny Group.

Sound is relaxed, with characteristic to German ECM Records company sound. Pieces are nice, pleasant, with light touch of country sounding guitar. Music in fact are more jazz than fusion. For sure, that album build the strong basis for future Metheny career, particularly in Europe.

Don't expect energy or experiments there. As many Metheny albums, this music is more downtempo atmospheric soundscapes, pleasant to ear and jazzy enough to be listened with pleasure ( or far enough from "new age" sound).

I can recommend this album to all soft jazz lovers, as well as everyone who likes ECM sound in jazz recordings. Pat Metheny demonstrates high standard in his guitar playing there, some weak points could be just playing on the edge with pop-jazz in rare moments.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is probably the most ethereal of all Pat's works, and for me the most beautiful. Apparently, Manfred Eicher the producer of this album was well known at getting his recording artists to experiment a little more than they ordinarily would in their sessions, and this album does demonstrate th ... (read more)

Report this review (#162913) | Posted by Leonardo | Friday, February 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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