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Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Pat Metheny Pat Metheny Group: Offramp album cover
4.14 | 153 ratings | 8 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Barcarole (3:18)
2..Are You Going With Me? (8:51)
3. Au Lait (8:31)
4. Eighteen (5:09)
5. Offramp (5:58)
6. James (6:45)
7. The Bat, Pt. 2 (3:50)

Total Time 42:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Pat Metheny / electric & acoustic guitars, Roland synth guitar, Synclavier
- Lyle Mays / organ, synthesizer, piano, autoharp, Synclavier
- Steve Rodby / bass, double bass
- Dan Gottlieb / drums
- Naná Vasconcelos / percussion, voices, berimbau

Releases information

Artwork: Gerd Winner

LP ECM Records ‎- ECM 1216 (1982, Germany)

CD ECM Records ‎- ECM 1216-2 (1983, US)

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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Buy PAT METHENY Pat Metheny Group: Offramp Music

PAT METHENY Pat Metheny Group: Offramp ratings distribution

(153 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PAT METHENY Pat Metheny Group: Offramp reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record has very varied jazzy songs. Lyle Mays' keyboards are often floating and relaxing. "Au lait" is a relax jazzy track made of piano, acoustic guitars and soft drums, perfect for a cabaret ambience. "Offramp" is a fast free jazz experimentation track with the unusual guitar synthesizer (highly pitched saxophone-like) which can be found on the song "Barcarole". "James" is a more conventional rhythmic urban jazz track, like Metheny use to compose. "The bat part 2" is a wonderful & very floating keyboards oriented piece: Lyle Mays masters well his instruments here. It is clear that Metheny wanted here to experiment the guitar synthesizer.
Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Though one of Pat and company's early highly-acclaimed albums, containing several much-beloved Metheny career highlight songs, this is an album that contained songs that did not connect with me--a couple that even repelled me. This has actually been the case with me over Pat's entire career: every album has scintillating moments of sheer brilliance while there are always others of abrasive and equally off-putting music. The new addition and use of his Roland G-300 guitar synthesizer provoked a lot of experimentation, some of it pretty demanding of the listener (as were their inspirators Ornette Coleman ["Offramp" (8/10)]), some combining styles explored on As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls with the Roland ("Bacarole" [8.75/10]). A lot of his songs and sound choices here still draw from earlier albums, like the New Chatauqua-like "James" (13.25/15), the sensitive and spacious, "The Bat, Part 2" (9/10) and the beautiful earlier drawing étude, "Au lait" (18.25/20) Luckily, the album contains a song whose sonic, emotional, and technical wizardry is of such a high caliber that it alone makes purchase and repeated returns to the album of almost essential importance, "Are You Going With Me?" (20/20).

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of Jazz Fusion and a significant contribution to the expansion and evolution of progressive rock music.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Updating the fusion sound for the 1980s, the Pat Metheny Group's Offramp benefits greatly from the crystal-clear production values which jazz fans have come to expect from anything hailing from the ECM stable. Brazilian rhythms intermingle with more art-pop influences - think Remain In Light-era Talking Heads gone jazz. (Or perhaps, for a more fusion-specific example, think of how Eno's Another Green World influenced the formation and early sound of Brand X, and then imagine that the Metheny Group had been similarly sonically influenced by My Life In the Bush of Ghosts.) Perhaps key to the sonic departure and development here is Metheny's adoption of a synth guitar, with his experiments with it here adding a new texture to the Group's sound and a new tool in the fusion toolbox.

Latest members reviews

3 stars With Mark Egan being away from the line up, Pat Metheny Group soldiers with their first 80's album. It has a more 80's synth sound as evidenced by the first track. "Are you going with me" is a surprising depart from typical fluid fusion sound, having almost pop/rock rhythm, rock synths. "Au ... (read more)

Report this review (#2434361) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, August 1, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This Pat Metheny Group album is in my opinion a masterpiece, and heartly recommendable to the progarchives readers. There are two Pat Metheny solos guitar , i mean in the second track "Are you going with me" with the synth-guitar, and in the sixth "James" with the canonical semi-acoustic Gibson, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#152454) | Posted by Fargue | Friday, November 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars One of Metheny's greatest albums. This is both musically and emotionally inspiring. This jazz guitarist does not receive nearly as much appreciation as is due. The musicianship is phenomenal, but the greatest thing about this album is its power to compel. Truly an album to take you places. Softer ... (read more)

Report this review (#94748) | Posted by Shakespeare | Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first exposure to Pat Matheny. When I first heard it back in 92-93, it sounded completely different from anything I heard before. the synthesized sound of guitars, the 'vocal lead', jazz drumming and off-beat rythm left me awestruck. Then over the years I came across other Pat Mathenie ... (read more)

Report this review (#75115) | Posted by Sharier | Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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