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PAT METHENY GROUP: SPEAKING OF NOW

Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Pat Metheny Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now album cover
3.88 | 68 ratings | 7 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. As It Is (7:42)
2. Proof (10:18)
3. Another Life (7:13)
4. Gathering Sky (9:26)
5. You (8:57)
6. On Her Way (5:41)
7. Place in the World (9:54)
8. Afternoon (4:45)
9. Wherever You Go (8:03)

Total Time 71:59

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Bona / vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar (4), fretless bass (7,9)
- Pat Metheny / acoustic, electric & synth guitars, co-producer
- Lyle Mays / piano, keyboards, co-producer
- Coung Vu / trumpet, vocals
- Steve Rodby / acoustic bass, cello (1), co-producer
- Antonio Sanchez / drums

With:
- Dave Samuels / percussion, marimba

Releases information

Artwork: Doyle Partners

CD Warner Bros. Records - 9 48025-2 (2002, US)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PAT METHENY Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now ratings distribution


3.88
(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
35%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PAT METHENY Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Speaking Of Now' - Pat Metheny Group (5/10)

Here is an album I had high expectations for. After a brilliant earnest introduction to the music of jazz fusion guitarist Pat Metheny with the album 'The Way Up', I was all too eager to look into some of the other music the man had made in more recent years. Seeing a copy of 'Speaking Of Now' checked in at the local public library, I was excited to take this home and give it an intent listen. Unfortunately, the progressive and engaging sound that I was first enchanted with is not here in nearly the sort of degree I would want, instead lending a hand to a banal, albeit very well performed style of smooth jazz. While 'Speaking Of Now' is certainly not a bad album, the somewhat harmless nature of the music leaves something to be desired.

The jazz played here can easily be described as background music; the sort of music that plenty of advertisements or corporations use when they meed a sort of music that won't offend anyone. Here you will hear a very clean sound on the guitar, met with plenty of major chords and soothing, almost ambient vocals. A great piece of music to relax to after a long day yes, but in terms of a full-fledged musical experience? 'Speaking Of Now' hints at brilliance, but it seems to come up short of anything worth being described as a masterpiece.

That being said, the album is saved in no small part due to the consistent and dynamic musicianship of all members involved. Of course, Metheny takes the spotlight here quite a bit more than the others, but overall, the listener is graced with a well-rounded, developed sound that is sure to put a stressed mind at ease. In terms of the compositions, things are kept generally upbeat, with a few tracks (such as the ambient ballad 'You') taking a slower- paced approach. All of the music on 'Speaking Of Now' is defined by its mellowness, which ultimately makes it an album one can only put on, should the mood fit.

While the compositions rarely have any significant or memorable parts to them, it is surprising how complex some of the arrangements can get in the music, considering how inherently mellow and laid-back the music is here. The spotlight here is always on the musicianship though, and regardless of a few more intricate moments to the songwriting, it is hard to praise the composition when it is neither dynamic, energetic, experimental or memorable. It is then the job of the musicians (Metheny included) to devote their efforts in transforming the lifeless arrangements into something that breathes with life. To a mixed extent, they succeeded.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
4 stars One of Pat & co.'s more pastoral jazz albums, this one does not take the listener into realms of avant or theoretical or chromatic or free jazz, nor does it take us back to bebop or Wes Montgomery, but it is more heavily reliant on acoustic instrumentation that most PMG albums. Even in the album's credits the acoustic instruments are given first citations for each of the individuals involved in the project. Still, you will hear Lyle's familiar/signature synths and Pat's familiar/signature "piccolo trumpet" electric guitar leads but all played over piano, acoustic guitar layers, the amazing Steve Rodby's double bass or cello along with newcomer Antonio Sanchez' drumming. (Shout out to the amazing Paul Wertico! You are the best!) Every song on the album is replete with multiple memorable melodies and gorgeous song structures, stunning solos from Lyle ("Proof"), Pat, all of the vocalists, and trumpeter Cuong Vu.

Great songs: 1. "As It Is" (7:48) which is probably my favorite song on the album (10/10); the more Wes Montgomery-styled, 2. "Proof" (10:09) (9/10); the far-away-romantic, next-the-fireside, 3. "Another Life" (7:08) with its odd almost Gregorian chant vocal interludes (9/10); the wonderfully bucolic, pastoral feeling 7. "A Place in the World" (9:52) a top three song for me (10/10); what sounds like a classic jazz standard--a piece of true ear candy--as if sung by Nat King Cole or Antônio Carlos Jobim but is sung by Cameroon's Richard Bona in a language I don't recognize (what should be French?) 8. "Afternoon" (4:45) (10/10), and; the album's closer, 9. "Wherever You Go" (8:03) a real gorgeous, melodic, low key tune in which all of the band members put on display their mastery of delicate jazz play. (10/10)

Very good songs: 4. "The Gathering Sky" (9:22) which sounds like a piece that Gene Kelley would have used as a film score to choreograph one of his unique dance numbers (8/10); 5. "You" (8:30) which is constructed much as the Brazilian pieces the band did in the 80s like Pedro Aznar's "Más allá (Beyond)" (8/10), and; the standard PMG Latin-tinged Wes Montgomery-sounding piece, 6. "On Her Way" (5:21) (8/10).

A solid, accessible release of jazz in the familiar vein of what Pat Metheny Group has been doing for over twenty-five years only oriented a bit more to the acoustic side of jazz instrumentation and the melodic side of jazz. 4.5 stars rated up for the incomparable standards of technical and melodic virtuosity they uphold for their profession.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 6/10

"Speaking Of Now" is a forgettable and at the same time unforgettable album for Pat Metheny.

"Speaking Of Now is one of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny's most recent albums, precisely 2002. As we all know this musician is known among the jazz community as a constant innovator concerning his own sound, morphing differently from album to album. But, to my surprise, I find "Speaking Of Now" something that I've heard before from this musician.

When I first listened to "Still Life (Talking)", (by Pat) released in the late eighties, I was convinced that it was of much more recent years, because it's sound was strikingly similar to "Speaking Of Now": both of them had vocals in more than one spot, both of them are largely influenced by Fusion, as also many of his albums were. But the similarity of those two pretty similar albums, very separate in time, made me praise "Still Life (Talking)" and criticize "Speaking Of Now": on this album, I didn't hear a thing that was new to me. However, I can't deny the enjoyment I had by listening to this, in few spots quite a bit, others most definitely less. Highlight tracks include songs like the ten minute "Proof", greatly structured, and the opener "As It Is". The other songs have some high points, as well as low ones. But the thing that did it for me, the thing that turned me on about these songs, are the vocals, which give in my opinion a very precious addiction to the music.

Overall, a decent album, but nothing really special at all, something that honestly didn't do anything for me, if not some enjoyment. It is yet another Pat Metheny obscure little album that has shining moments, but nothing at all that makes it an essential listen. Forgettable in a way, unforgettable in another.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Being a long-time PM/PMG fan this was an album I was very much looking forward to when I became aware of the line-up changes which Pat had made, in particular Antonio Sanchez on drums. I was far from disappointed - all the usual trademarks were there: great, melodic, soaring guitar solos, tastef ... (read more)

Report this review (#502313) | Posted by AlanShaw | Saturday, August 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars If I have to describe this album I would say guitar driven atmospheric jazz fusion. Really enjoyable and light.One can recognize certain musical style patterns here. Different kinds of melodic voice incantations, nice mellow piano interludes. I will not go piece by piece because most of them have ... (read more)

Report this review (#351844) | Posted by petrica | Monday, December 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars To me this is Metheny's finest album. It's all about well-composed and clear music with a variety of different styles mixed together. The band makes up a truly amazing ensemble. Though being jazz, at places the music gets extremely atmospheric - even to be compared with some symphonic prog greats ... (read more)

Report this review (#126848) | Posted by Deliriumist | Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Speaking of Now contains the same mystical and organic beauty as an aesthetic tale of futuristic space travel between alien worlds: each diverse, aloof, yet strangely homey and oddly familiar. Haunting in the most cosmic of fashions, delicately spacey, and wholly attaching: Pat Metheny's Speaking of ... (read more)

Report this review (#85607) | Posted by Shakespeare | Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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