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Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Pat Metheny Secret Story album cover
4.20 | 157 ratings | 12 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Above The Treetops (2:43)
2. Facing West (6:05)
3. Cathedral In A Suitcase (4:52)
4. Finding And Believing (10:00)
5. Longest Summer (6:34)
6. Sunlight (3:53)
7. Rain River (7:09)
8. Always And Forever (5:26)
9. See The World (4:48)
10. As A Flower Blossoms (I Am Running To You) (1:53)
11. Antonia (6:11)
12. Truth Will Always Be (9:15)
13. Tell Her You Saw Me (5:11)
14. Not To Be Forgotten (Our Final Hour) (2:22)

Total time 76:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Pat Metheny / electric, synth & acoustic guitars, electric sitar (4,7), keyboards, acoustic (4,5,10,11) & electric (6,8,9) pianos, Synclavier, electric percussion (3,4,7,12), keyboard bass (3), horns arrangements (9), arranger & co-producer

- Mark Ledford / vocals (3,4)
- Akiko Yano / vocals (10)
- Gil Goldstein / piano (7,9), accordion (4,7,9), horns conductor (9)
- Lyle Mays / piano (2,6)
- Skaila Kanga / harp (13)
- Toots Thielemans / harmonica (8,11)
- Ryan Kisor / trumpet & flugelhorn (9)
- Mike Metheny / trumpet & flugelhorn (9)
- Michael Mossman / trumpet & flugelhorn (9)
- David Taylor / bass trombone (9)
- Tom "Bones" Malone / trombone (9)
- Dave Bargeron / trombone & tuba (9)
- John Clark / French horn (9)
- Andrew Findon / flute (7)
- Charlie Haden / acoustic bass (1,8)
- Steve Rodby / electric & acoustic basses (4-7,9,11), co-producer
- Will Lee / electric bass (4,6,12)
- Anthony Jackson / 6-string contrabass guitar (9)
- Steve Ferrone / drums (3-5,12)
- Paul Wertico / drums (4,5,7-9,11)
- Sammy Merendino / drums (6)
- Danny Gottlieb / cymball roll (3,11)
- Armando Marçal / percussion (1-7,9,12)
- Naná Vasconcelos / percussion (1,4,5,10-12), vocals (11)
- The London Orchestra
- Jeremy Lubbock / orchestra conductor & arranger
- Gavyn Wright / orchestra leader & concertmaster
- The Pinpeat Orchestra of the Cambodian Royal Ballet (1)
- The Choir of the Cambodian Royal Palace / chorus vocals (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Kevin Reagan

2xLP Geffen Records ‎- GEF 24468 (1992, Germany)

CD Geffen Records ‎- GEFD 24468 (1992, Europe)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PAT METHENY Secret Story Music

PAT METHENY Secret Story ratings distribution

(157 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PAT METHENY Secret Story reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The masterpiece album Secret story is an extremely well made classical & modern urban soft jazz album with progressive & even acoustic New Age elements. The album is long: more than 70 minutes of delightful music. Curiously, Lyle Mays is rarely present on the songs. Nevertheless, Metheny made a very good job!! The keyboards, the percussions and the guitars are really perfect! You have to listen it with HI-FI product, if you do not want to conclude it's a supermarket music!! The piece "Antonia" is noticeable with is wonderful vibrant rhythmic accordion! The gentle finesse involved is palpable, and the omnipresent, delicate & slow orchestration involved gives this album something very relaxing, noble, addictive and accessible! When I listen to this album using a state-of-the- art sound system, I really have a feeling of GRANDEUR!


Review by fuxi
4 stars SECRET STORY has been promoted in some quarters as Pat Metheny's "World Music album", but that seems way off the mark since it contains few 'foreign' sounds (at least from from Pat's point of view), apart from an amazing Cambodian contribution to the shortish opening number.

Most of the album feels like a travelogue, though - or rather: like film music accompanying a glossy travelogue; a feeling that is enhanced by Jeremy Lubbock's soothing orchestral arrangements. Almost all of Metheny's album sleeves evoke the theme of travel (and of course the man once released a live album entitled TRAVELS), so as soon as you spot this album's song titles ('Cathedral in a suitcase', 'See the World' etc.) you get the idea that Metheny will be confronting you with a musical impression of things he may have observed from a bus or an airplane window.

A few of the tunes included are little more than orchestra-dominated movie-soundtrack fluff. Others are based on rather simplistic pop tunes (e.g. 'Sunlight', 'Rain River' and 'See the World') but as soon as Metheny embarks on one of his inimitable solos (on this album they're usually backed by strings) all is forgiven - the listener sits back, closes his eyes and simply enjoys.

The album's final three or four tracks have a distinctly mournful quality. Although I'm not aware of the biographical details behind them, the song titles ('The truth will always be', 'Tell her you saw me' and 'Not to be forgotten (our final hour)') point in the direction of love lost. 'The truth will always be' starts quietly, like a funeral march, but features a passionate guitar synth solo so exuberant you just HAVE to call this prog (not jazz): it's closer to Yes' "And you and I" than to anything by Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk. By golly, how I wish Steve Howe still had the inspiration (as well as the good taste and the money) to do something similar!

Although grandiloquent at times, SECRET STORY must be considered one of Pat's most enjoyable albums from the 1980s and 1990s. It also contains (far too brief) cameos by Toots Thielemans, the world's greatest harmonica player, and by the Japanese pop singer/jazz pianist Akiko Yano (former wife of Ryuichi Sakamoto).

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars The one problem I have with Pat Metheny is simply that he has just down right released too many albums. How is a voracious music lover like myself supposed to keep up with all of his material and be able to listen to everything else I desire to hear? Both good and bad here is that Pat's albums are not all essential; so we can pick and choose which ones stay in our rotations. Secret Story is one of those albums. It is quite possibly his most diverse and large-scale release to date (just look at that huge lineup of musicians on this disc!). This disc features Pat's signature sounds, with an added lush, orchestral and new-age blend, whose ebb and flow throughout the disc are a really unique and exciting touch. The world elements are not omnipresent or even overt, but they have a very strong, albeit inconspicuous, effect on the atmosphere. It isn't a very catchy jazz record, but it is truly a magnificent and memorable experience that anyone interested at all in jazz should hear.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My all-time favorite of many favorite Pat Metheny/Pat Metheny Group albums, this album is also one of the two that, IMO, most qualify for the progressive rock label. With some of the most effective orchestral arrangements I've ever heard in the rock idiom, accompanied by one of Pat's more diverse song lists, this album, pure and simply, has it all: towering solos, acoustic gems, sing-a-long-at-the-top-of-your-lungs, world/ethnic sounds, great guest performances (Charlie Haden, Nana Vasconcelos, Will Lee, Danny Gottlieb, Armando Marçal, Mark Ledford, Steve Ferrone, Sunny Merendino, Gil Goldstein, Akiko Yano, Andy Findon, and two songs with jazz's most acclaimed harmonica player, Toots Thielemans along, of course, with his long-time mainstays, some of the finest musicians at their specific instruments in the world: Paul Wertico on drums, Steve Rodby on bass, and Lyle Mays on keyboards) and many heart- and gut-wrenching soli and melody lines, both upbeat and slow.

1. "Above the Treetops" (9/10) begins with a Cambodian choir singing a traditional hymn while accompanied by the London Orchestra and some percussion and bass from Nana V. and Charlie H., respectively. Eventually Pat voices some of his appreciation with his beautiful acoustic guitar play.

2. "Facing West" (7/10) feels like an older 'Group' song, with familiar structures and sounds--not unlike anything from their 8 recordings from the 1980s. Good song but nothing new or innovative.

3. "Cathedral in a Suitcase" (9/10) is most interesting for its lack of drums and Minimalist background structure with orchestral accompaniment. A song that unfolds slowly and with many subtleties and surprises (like the playground voices in the third minute joined by a wailing electric guitar screaming in the far background followed and interrupted by an orchestral crescendo). Very cool song for those who like to listen, really listen.

4. "Finding and Believing" (8/10) is a three-part song that starts with a weave of some very unusual percussive sounds before steady rhythm section backbeat establishes itself so that some very tribal singing/screaming and chanting can take the lead (credited to and supposedly by New Yorker, white man, Mark Ledford). Part 2 begins at the 3:48 mark with some hand percussives continuing to hold the beat while Jeremy Lubbock's orchestra plays around as if on a movie soundtrack or 1970s jazz fusion interlude. At 6:48 Pat's piano ushers in the rest of the jazz combo and more though very different African-sounding tribal vocals/chants. At 8:15 Pat's smooth electric guitar takes over to play out in a trademark solo over the upbeat, beautiful rhythm structure. Awesome world music.

5. "The Longest Summer" (10/10) begins with Pat on gentle piano and Steve Rodby playing his cool bass. At 1:26 everything shifts into one of the coolest beackbeats over which Pat delivers one heck of an emotional guitar solo with one of my favorite solo instrumental sounds in all of musica guitar synthesizer that sounds much like a 'piccolo trumpet,' if there was such a thing. Then, at 3:15, everything quiets back down to piano and orchestra, repeating much of the songs first part before falling back into the amazing rhythm and 'piccolo trumpet' soloing at the 5:12 markthis time with wonderful augmentation by the London Orchestra till fade. Awesome song!

6. "Sunlight" (7/10) is a very light-hearted, upbeat song--providing quite a break from emotional journey of the last two or three songs. Nothing really new or Earth-shattering; very melodic and straightforward--almost Burt Bacharach-like.

7. "Rain River" (7/10) brings us back into the emotional heaviness of the third world with many ethnic-sounding instruments and sounds, lots of stress on the percussion play. Smooth/Wes Montgomery guitar soloing begins around the 2:45 mark.

8. "Always and Forever" (9/10) is a mellow, deeply reflective/introspective song in which Pat's carefully chosen lead guitar notes are accompanied mostly by a kind of Claus Ogerman-type of instrument arrangement using double bass, brushed drums & orchestra. Very beautiful and mellow.

9. "See the World" (8/10) is not unlike "Sunlight" in its brightness but is much more complex in terms of its arrangement and time signatures. This is jazz. I love the horns, chorded piano, and Paul Wertico's drumming (cymbol play) is, as always, virtuosic. This song, again, has a lot in common with more of the standard 'Group' sounds and arrangements--and complexity--and stands up as as beautiful a song as 'the Group' has ever done.

10. "As a Flower Blossoms" (7/10) is another song that seems to be borrowing from world/ethnic sounds and melody lines, but is really just a little piano/orchestra interlude before one of the album's showcase songs.

11. "Antonia" (9/10) begins with Pat's oft-used Synclavier accordian sound slowly introducing his themes and moods. Before long his melody line is mirrored and harmonized by other guitars and synths. I love the shift to finger-snappin tempo at the 2:54 mark, and the beautiful, emotional and powerful guitar solo that follows before the 4:20 slow down for a gorgeous ending. Beautiful song.

12. "The Truth Will Always Be" (11/10) is simply one of the best Post Rock/Math Rock progressive rock songs I've ever heard and, I often muse, perhaps the first of that sub-genre. IMHO, this is Metheny's finest hour as both a composer and a guitar soloist. The song builds and builds with Steve Ferrone's military drumming gathering strength, slowly moving to the foreground before it blasts us away with sounds on a par with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture's cannon shots--all this to set up your goosebumps to be totally blown away by Pat's soaring, screaming, ripping, tearing, gut-wrenching 'piccolo trumpet' guitar soloing above the din! WOW! Who said "Comfortably Numb" or "Firth of Fifth" has the greatest guitar solo in history? I beg to differ! It's here! Check it out!

13. "Tell Her You Saw Me" (10/10). How do you follow the most gut-wrenching song of all time? With one of the most mellow, beautiful songs ever written/performed. Jeremy Lubbock and the London Orchestra perform a beautiful arrangement as Pat's feather-plucked electric guitar first mirrors and then barely squeaks his plaintive solo above the orchestra. Absolutely breathtaking! And heart-wrenching.

14. "Not to Be Forgotten (Our Final Hour)" (10/10) is an amazingly gorgeous song performed solely by the London Orchestra. On a par with anything Enrico Morricone or Hans Zimmer has ever done. Could be longer. I'd listen to a whole album of just this. Gorgeous.

This album is as much of a true masterpiece as any I have ever reviewed. And anyone who seems to want to deny Pat credit for his guitar skills ought to have his ears examined: there are few if any guitarists out there who can command the speed, dexterity, and express such emotion with such amazing melody, complexity of music, and length as Pat Metheny. He is a guitar god. One of the all-time greats. If you have any doubts please watch any of his live videos or better yet, see him in concert! He only does 200 concerts and a world tour every year. See him now. Did I mention that hes also a marathon runner? Makes his music and stamina that much better. Have I made my point?

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 7/10

"Secret Story" is one of Pat Metheny's most ambitious, unique, and progressive works.

One of Metheny's highest and most interesting points of his career, "Secret Story" is not your usual guitar oriented jazz album. There's as a matter of fact something to it that makes it one of this guitarist's most ambitious, unique, and frankly progressive works.

This kind of jazz is labeled by some smooth jazz, but it's actually much more than that: there are tons of synthesizer sounds (played by Pat himself, with nothing but his guitar, and of course MIDI cords), tons of world music influences, especially African and European, the latter one by chance being part of the most melancholic side of the LP. This is Metheny exploring and experimenting, and he does it so well that it is always enjoyable to hear him do so. The musicianship surrounding him is decent, but not memorable, as obviously Pat is the center of the album, and all the noticeable sounds (except for drums) are created by him.

"Secret Story" to me is one of the perfect examples of Metheny's favorite themes, such as travel and being on the road: the world music influence is the exquisite proof. But we also find this theme in moods themselves, cheerful, full of hope and excitement, but at times also full of melancholy and even sadness. It literally is an adventurous albums that visits different sounds textures and new horizons. My only complaint is that it is way too long, clocking in almost 80 minutes in length, and I strongly feel that the results would have been the same if it was a half an hour shorter. However, the longer episodes seem to be more appealing than others: "Finding And Believing"'s ten minutes are pretty epic, thanks to the outstanding African-esque vocals that create a wonderful atmosphere, "The Truth Will Always Be" a greatly structured song, with a nice, calm hook that echoes along the nine minutes of the entire track. "Antonia" is a shorter, but extremely nostalgic piece, of soothing beauty, "Cathedral In a Suitcase" a brilliant evocation and summary of the general moods that the album as a whole creates.

"Secret Story", despite it's excessiveness, is a great treat, an album that a Pat Metheny fan will love dearly, for sure. I never had so much emotions brought up by listening to one of his albums.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Pat Metheny is one of the pioneers of smooth jazz and jazz rock in general with more then 30 years career and great deal of excellent albums. Personaly his music doesn't move me big time, but from time to time I really enjoy some more calmer smoother side of jazz rock/fusion. One of his better albums and most diverse is Secret story from 1992. Well, for sure his music is not an every day one for me, but I do appreciate his talent and inventivness. This release is great and show how versatile Pat Metheny is on guitar, he practicaly explores every corner of smooth jazz here. Also to me is probably his most progressive of his albums with good amount of excellent passages like on Facing West , Cathedral in a Suitcase, perfect example of Metheny great ideas. All in all one of his best and one of the best I've hered from this side of jazz. Good one from start to finish.3 stars.
Review by Warthur
4 stars Pat Metheny's Secret Story hails from that light and breezy school of jazz fusion which feels like it could be music from a television soundtrack - specifically, the sort of thing that when it fails ends up sounding like fairly generic incidental music from a third-rate sitcom, but when it succeeds sounds like the music from some long-lost cult classic. Here, it generally succeeds, with Pat treating us to a diverse range of guitar, guitar-like, and keyboard performances backed by a large range of collaborators.

In fact, I was a little startled to see just what a revolving door of backing musicians this involved, because you'd expect a certain amount of disjointedness when you have so much variation in performers from track to track - but Pat does a fine job of keeping things cohesive and true to the approach he's taking here. It's essentially smooth jazz that's a bit more technically clever and adventurous than smooth jazz typically is. If that sounds good to you, then great - jump on that. If that sounds terrible to you... maybe try it out anyway, because smooth jazz isn't my usual cup of tea but Pat's injection of fusion by-products into the mix really spices things up.

Latest members reviews

5 stars An album that does not need lyrics to describe one's emotional experience. Its a love story filled with feelings of joy and disappointments wonderfully crafted with layers of orchestral arrangements, guitars and keyboards. When I first listened to this album rather casually, what made me stop and ... (read more)

Report this review (#511249) | Posted by Sharier | Monday, August 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you want to explore Metheny's work, I think this is the best place to start. Metheny really created something innovative by mixing world music, jazz and rock in an unique way. He's mixing a lot of styles, without making the music sound hesteric (in a negative way). Very much different sounds ... (read more)

Report this review (#183637) | Posted by Foolsdrummer | Friday, September 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Riddled with ethnic, world, and eastern flavours, Secret Story is one of Pat Metheny's most diverse and varied albums. Ranging from classical pieces complemented by Metheny's majestic guitar work, to the basic "coffee house/lounge jazz", with only the dominance of the cosmic piano lacking (though ... (read more)

Report this review (#133620) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, August 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I spent my whole adult life listening to music of Genesis,Pink Floyd,Moody Blues,Anthony Philips,and alike.I am aged 49 years by now,and never thought that I would ever come across any new music that can break my addiction to those music makers,but that was only before i happened to give "Offr ... (read more)

Report this review (#92054) | Posted by Yasir | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent mix of talents. Philarmonical orchestra shows a great linked inchained with Metheny group`s musicians. Really this album is a jewel, beautiful journey through so many landscapes, images and pure sounds together a chemical ilussion that is complexely and seductive to feel the most sec ... (read more)

Report this review (#85594) | Posted by Queno | Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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