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Pat Metheny

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Pat Metheny From This Place album cover
4.07 | 136 ratings | 5 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. America Undefined (13:22)
2. Wide and Far (8:27)
3. You Are (6:13)
4. Same River (6:43)
5. Pathmaker (8:20)
6. The Past in Us (6:24)
7. Everything Explained (6:52)
8. From This Place (4:40)
9. Sixty-Six (9:39)
10. Love May Take a While (bonus track) (5:57)

Total Time 76:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Pat Metheny / guitars, keyboards
- Gwilym Simcock / piano
- Linda May Han Oh / bass, voice
- Antonio Sanchez / drums

- Meshell Ndegeocello / vocals
- Gregoire Maret / harmonica
- Luis Conte / percussion
- Hollywood Studio Symphony orchestra conducted by Joel McNeely

Releases information

2LP, CD, Digital (FLAC, MP3)
Release date February 21, 2020

Thanks to TCat for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PAT METHENY From This Place ratings distribution

(136 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PAT METHENY From This Place reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Of course Pat is going to choose from (and have his pick of) the very best jazz musicians in America if not the world, so musicianship is never going to be an issue on any Pat Metheny release. My question is whether his creative well can continue to produce fresh sounding compositions. This presentiment is prompted by three of his more "recent" releases that I am familiar with: The Way Up from 2005, Orchestrion from 2010, and What's It All About from 2011. While this latter is, obviously, exclusively made up of covers of jazzy pop songs from "our" formative years (1965-1972), the former two are the two releases Pat has done in the 21st Century that stray closest to proggy jazz fusion. The Way Up was a mélange and integration (or kind of "best of" all) of Pat & Lyle's most proggy stuff since 1981's As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. His other releases from this century have all been more straightforward jazz--or, at least, jazz lite--not prog.

1. "America Undefined" (13:22) From its opening minutes this song cries out, "jazz," but then, in the middle, there are some nods to the proggy jazz fusion that he and Lyle Mays made so popular in the 1980s and 1990s. (I love the Radiohead chord progression used by the piano in the quieter mid-section, minutes nine through eleven--and then the crescendo and dénouement at 11:30.) First half jazz; incredible proggy finish. One of the two best songs on the album. (28/30)

2. "Wide and Far" (8:27) piano, double bass, jazz drumming, and one of Pat's signature electric jazz guitar sounds (modified from that of one of his heroes, Wes Montgomery). 1970s-like background orchestration give this a kind of timeless pop-jazz feel. Still, the style of the guitar play is quite reminiscent of Mr. Montgomery--even the melody choices harkening back to the 1960s. A perfect composition with flawless performances but, is it prog? Is it even jazz fusion? Methinks it's almost straightforward jazz--or at least Pat Metheny jazz. And there's nothing here that's even remotely experimental or innovative. (17/20)

3. "You Are" (6:13) a very simple and sparsely populated Math Rock kind of construct that slowly builds (especially from drummer Antonio Sanchez and Joel McNeely's orchestration). Again, there are very strong hints of Radiohead influence here. Another perfect composition with flawless performances that definitely satisfies the proghead in me. The other great, experimental song on the album. (9.25/10)

4. "Same River" (6:43) Pat playing his sitar-like sounding guitar effect, light jazz support but highly present and influential are the orchestral inputs--they are not background support but main contributors. Nice simple piano solo in the third minute ending just as Pat switches to his signature "synth horn" axe sound for a somewhat routine and disappointing (uninspired?) solo in the fourth minute. Burt Bacharach-like time signature shift with significant orchestral inputs follow before the music returns to more subdued, delicate realms in the sixth minute. This plays out gently, delicately, so beautifully to the end. So 1970s-ish! (8.75/10)

5. "Pathmaker" (8:20) one of Pat's signature intricately threaded multi-time signature songs. To me, this is just straight jazz, nothing even remotely resembling prog or jazz fusion--and it's very standard (though extremely proficient) Pat Metheny fare. (15.5/20)

6. "The Past in Us" (6:24) somber, introspective piano and strings open this one. Pat on nylon string guitar enters after 90 seconds and brushed drums, punctuating double bass, and harmonica join in, with the harmonica taking the lead for the third minute. Pat joins in counterpointing Gregoire Maret's Toots Thielemans-like harmonica play. (We've heard this before on Pat's 1992 Grammy Award-winning masterpiece, A Secret Story--with Toots Thielemans performing the mouth harp duties! Pat is obviously feeling quite nostalgiac.) (8/10)

7. "Everything Explained" (6:52) fulfilling another Pat Metheny album prerequisite: latin-flavored Pat song. Using his Wes Montgomery sound and style. His playing is still great but not as crisp or inspired as his prime. The support team is very solid. All jazz here, no prog. (12/15)

8. "From This Place" (4:40) set up for vocalist Michelle Ngechello to perform her whispy angelic magic (in multiple tracks!), the song is clearly based on variations on the meldoies and themes of one of our American anthems: "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Interesting but nothing worthy of radio play or repeat listenings. (8/10)

9. "Sixty-Six (9:39) How many different permutations and combinations are there on the old Pat Metheny masterpieces? (Isn't that what jazz is all about: continually playing "new" variations on the past masters?) Most interesting for the drumming and luscious arrangements of the beautiful chord progressions, not for the guitar "leads." As a matter of fact, I'd go so far as to say that for the first time as a Pat Metheny fan, I'm bored by the guitar soloing and far more distracted by the fascinating compositional arrangements and performances of everyone else. My other top three song. (17.75/20)

10. "Love May Take a While (bonus track) (5:57) Another step back into the patterns and orientation of the Secret Story album as the finale there were also gorgeously rich orchestrations within which Pat played his solo guitar. Still gorgeous but nothing new here (other than a different decade and a different orchestra). (8.5/10)

Total Time 76:37

Having been a Pat Metheny fan for over 45 years, having collected almost everything he's contributed to, and having seen him in concert several times in the 1980s and 1990s, I feel that I know Pat's styles, and patterns very well. There is nothing new or superlatively innovative hear. It is a fairly typical Pat Metheny album with exceptional sound and performances on compositions of a grand master. An album of Pat's usual elegant music that does happen to contain one and a half proggy, somewhat experimental songs. half the time, with the lush orchestrations, I felt as if I were listening while comparing it to my favorite jazz fusion album of the 1970s, Freddie Hubbard's Love Connection (also lushly orchestrated).

B/four stars; a Pat Metheny Jazz album that displays the master's perfection of his compositional craft as well as his unmistakable ability to surround himself with virtuosi, but, in the end, is just another Pat Metheny jazz album that has been constructed in typical Pat Metheny fashion.

Review by Matti
5 stars The American jazz guitar icon PAT METHENY was more active recording albums in the early 2010's than he has been in recent years. The previous album was Kin <--> (2014) by Pat Metheny Unity Group. The guitarist -- who also plays keyboards here -- toured globally with the new line-up featured on From This Place, so the core quartet had gelled well before getting into the studio. British Gwilym Simcock is on piano, Malaysian-Australian Linda May Han Oh on bass, and on drums remains the long-time collaborator Antonio Sanchez. In addition to them, the album -- composed entirely by Metheny -- features three guests (on vocals, harmonica and percussion), plus The Hollywood Studio Symphony.

'America Undefined' (the longest track at 13:22) is a dynamic, many-sided, grand scale composition that grows into an impressive symphonic crescendo with a cinematic power. 'Wide and Far' is basically a fairly representative Metheny piece in its happy mood but goes beyond that. His easily identifiable guitar playing is in the centre, backed beautifully by the band and orchestra. All the elements work harmoniously together, making the music both exciting and easy to enjoy. 'You Are' starts as a slow and calm quartet performance but contains a powerful mid-section featuring the wordless vocals of Meshell Ndegeocello.

The additional orchestral colour sits perfectly into 'Same River' too, in which mostly piano carries the melodies until Metheny's passionate guitar synth (?) solo. 'Pathmaker' (8:20) is yet another masterstroke for its vivid arrangement. Happy and adventurous simultaneously, like the album as a whole. 'The Past Is in Us' is a sensitive but dynamic ballad with piano, mellow sounding guitar and Gregoire Maret's harmonica in the alternating lead roles. The title track is a rare Metheny piece in featuring proper lyric-based vocals (by Linda May Han Oh, I suppose). Beautiful, dreamy. The nearly ten-minute 'Sixty-Six' is mostly a mellow piece but not without some orchestral spice. The last track is for some reason marked as a bonus, but it ends this gorgeous album with romantic mellowness.

If we had the half-stars, my rating would be 4˝, but this 76-minute album feels not only technically faultless and extremely well produced but also so full of sincere emotional substance that the rounding upwards feels deserved. From This Place is, I truly believe, one of the finest albums Pat Metheny has recorded in his long career.

Review by friso
4 stars With 'From This Place' Pat Metheny returns to his regular fusion style, albeit accompanied by an orchestra. The recording is quite lively and roomy; almost to the point of sounding like a well recorded live album. Matheny never really jumped on rock-fusion bandwagen of Return to Forever and Mahavishnu, in stead creating a modern jazz style with traces of bebop, ECM jazz and hints of world music. He uses his electric guitar often with a clean warm tone and doesn't place his solo's too much in the front of the mix. His music is often devoid of rock influences, but the music can get quite intense. It is linked with progressive rock because of his intricate uses of melodies, harmony and longer compositional structures. On this album, as pointed out by other reviewers, the thirteen minute opener 'America Defined' and 'You Are' are particularly appealing to the progressive crowd. The first opens with a harsh sessions of fast changing chords and melodies (almost the jazz variant of a thrash metal opening track), only to end up in an atmospheric middle section with city sounds, followed by a very impressive, and huge sounding melodic ending. The other is an explosive single theme exploration, a bit like Mahavishnu's 'Hope'. The other tracks are pretty much what fans of Metheny would expect. Some intimate instrumental ballads, some up-tempo fusion pieces - some of them perhaps sounding a bit too 'elevator-like' for some people's tastes here. Stylistically the music hasn't changed much from 'The Way Up', a record that got some significant attention at the time. The limited use of the orchestra does add a layer of luxuriousness. Like any album is in this genre it is a bit too long, but If you listen the first LP (with before mentioned prog moments of interest) on its own you would add up to what I would rate a clear four star album. The second LP to me is a gentle addition of relaxing tracks. The quality of the vinyl is fine, but I do feel like the modern mastering with its heavy focus on mid-lows does make the sound a bit dense and cuts some of that roomy high-end. In conclusion; this album comes warmly recommended and could also serve as a safe entry into the jazz-rock/fusion genre.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Pat Metheny, a while before COVID struck, this album came out in the very early stages of the now plague of a virus. Of course there is the issue of Lyle Mays' passing not 2 week before the new Pat Metheny album hit shelves and online music stores. While the album doesn't have Lyle on it, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#2484243) | Posted by ComaEcliptic | Friday, December 11, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Alright, Pat Metheny... you nailed it again. You have done the impossible, you have made yet another masterpiece, this is up there with Secret Story and American Garage for me. This album has a very traditional arrangement that I actually enjoy a lot more, the more Jazz Fusion stuff found ... (read more)

Report this review (#2376468) | Posted by Zoltanxvamos | Sunday, May 3, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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