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PAT METHENY

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Pat Metheny biography
PAT METHENY, in and out of the PAT METHENY BAND, has been touring for more than 30 years, averaging 200 concerts a year. He is one of the top ten jazz rock guitarists, having in part re-established this genre (along side the likes of ALLAN HOLDSWORTH - an artist METHENY greatly admires), as one which is original and continues to create dynamic and cutting edge music, (rather the smooth jazz that the genre of fusion was in danger of becoming at the end of the 70's). He has written 200+ pieces and continues to push musical limits in both composing and performing. He has for several decades been one of the best selling jazz musicians in the world. PAT (Patrick Bruce) METHENY was born in Lee's Summit. Missouri in the USA on the 12th August 1954. He started guitar at the age of 13, (his brother Mike was already a trumpeter). His musical interests ranged from the Beatles to unusually the music of ORNETTE COLEMAN. His ability on the instrument advanced rapidly and was such that he was teaching the instrument both at University of Miami (colleague with JACO PASTORIUS) and Berklee, whilst still in his teens. He made his record debut with PASTORIUS, PAUL BLEY and BRUCE DITMOUS in 1974. One of the visiting professors at Berkee, vibraphonist GARY BURTON (also one of the earlier American explorers into jazz rock), recruited METHENY for the GARY BURTON Quartet (sometimes QUINTET) for defining period between 1974 to 77, recording several albums for the German jazz label ECM. During this period, in 1975 METHENY recorded the first album under his own name, 'Bright Size Life' (released 1976, again with PASTORIUS now at the height on his fame, and drummer BOB MOSES). In 1977 'Watercolors' was recorded with LYLE MAYS playing keyboards. In 1978 METHENY formed the PAT METHENY GROUP with LYLE MAYS (keyboards), MARK EGAN (electric bass) and DANNY GOTTLIEB (drums). Within a short period he and the PMG were ECM's top selling recording artists, and METHENY became quickly one of the most popular of all jazz/ jazz rock artists attaining near-stadium rock status. The PMG had a distinctive sound, probably due to Metheny's Gibson ES-175 guitar and Mays' Oberheim synthesizer and Yamaha Organ - this instrumental voicing can be heard to very good effect on JONI MITCHELL's tour deforce 'Shadows and Lights', (on which too, PASTORIUS and MICHAEL BRECKER also shine). METHENY, like JOHN ABERCROMBIE was given artist freedom by ECM, and responded by producing albums unlike those being pr...read more

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Letter From HomeLetter From Home
Nonesuch 2006
Audio CD$7.57
$14.99 (used)
Hommage a Eberhard WeberHommage a Eberhard Weber
ECM 2015
Audio CD$13.09
$14.05 (used)
Secret Story 2CD Special EditionSecret Story 2CD Special Edition
Wea/Atlantic/Nonesuch 2007
Audio CD$12.27
$9.93 (used)
UpojenieUpojenie
Nonesuch 2008
Audio CD$8.99
$8.98 (used)
Still Life (Talking)Still Life (Talking)
Nonesuch 2011
Audio CD$7.87
$7.17 (used)
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CDCHARLIE HADEN & PAT METHENY BEYOND THE MISSOURI SKY (SHORT STORIES) USD $4.99 [0 bids]
3h 55m
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Pat Metheny Secret Story Japanese CD album (CDLP) MVCG-87 METHENY GROUP 1992 USD $23.10 Buy It Now 9h 57m
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Pat Metheny CD album (CDLP) We Live Here Japanese MVCG-168 GEFFEN 1995 USD $23.10 Buy It Now 10h 34m
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22h 14m
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PAT METHENY/BRAD MEHLDAU - QUARTET [2007] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.22 Buy It Now 23h 56m
PAT METHENY & THE HEATH BROTHERS - The Movie to the Groove Session [CD] USD $11.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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PAT METHENY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PAT METHENY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 77 ratings
Bright Size Life
1976
4.14 | 76 ratings
Watercolors
1977
4.07 | 100 ratings
Pat Metheny Group
1978
4.00 | 81 ratings
New Chautauqua
1979
3.79 | 70 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: American Garage
1979
3.20 | 38 ratings
80/81
1980
4.24 | 108 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Offramp
1981
4.17 | 100 ratings
Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
1981
3.49 | 22 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing
1984
3.56 | 61 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: First Circle
1984
3.70 | 25 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Falcon And The Snowman
1985
2.99 | 31 ratings
Pat Metheny - Ornette Coleman: Song X
1986
3.84 | 83 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking)
1987
3.24 | 67 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Letter From Home
1989
3.28 | 33 ratings
Pat Metheny, Dave Holland & Roy Haynes: Question And Answer
1990
4.19 | 120 ratings
Secret Story
1992
1.74 | 34 ratings
Zero Tolerance For Silence
1994
3.36 | 52 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here
1995
2.81 | 34 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Quartet
1996
3.71 | 29 ratings
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
1997
3.94 | 80 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day
1997
3.67 | 25 ratings
A Map Of The World
1999
3.50 | 16 ratings
Jim Hall & Pat Metheny
1999
3.26 | 23 ratings
Pat Metheny Trio: 99 ➡00
2000
3.89 | 16 ratings
Anna Maria Jopek & Pat Metheny: Upojenie
2002
3.88 | 70 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now
2002
3.44 | 36 ratings
One Quiet Night
2003
4.24 | 208 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up
2005
3.22 | 23 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau
2006
3.35 | 18 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau: Quartet
2007
3.18 | 23 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Christian McBride & Antonio Sanchez: Day Trip
2008
3.74 | 75 ratings
Orchestrion
2010
3.52 | 27 ratings
What's It All About
2011
4.00 | 21 ratings
Unity Band
2012
3.82 | 19 ratings
Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20
2013
3.77 | 51 ratings
Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (↔)
2014

PAT METHENY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 51 ratings
Travels (Pat Metheny Group)
1982
4.00 | 2 ratings
Jazz Masters - 100 Ans De Jazz - Concert Midem (with B.B. King & Dave Brubeck )
1984
2.50 | 6 ratings
Blue Asphalt (Pat Metheny Group)
1991
3.00 | 5 ratings
Unity Village
1993
4.09 | 37 ratings
The Road to You (as Pat Metheny Group)
1993
3.43 | 7 ratings
The Pat Metheny Group In Concert
1993
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Sign of 4
1996
3.96 | 5 ratings
Pat Metheny, Gary Burton & The Heath Brothers: All the Things You Are
1999
3.88 | 16 ratings
Trio Live
2000
2.67 | 3 ratings
Parallel Universe
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Chicago '87
2015

PAT METHENY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
We Live Here - Live in Japan
1995
4.35 | 17 ratings
Imaginary Day Live
2001
4.84 | 28 ratings
The Way Up - Live
2006

PAT METHENY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 5 ratings
Works
1984
4.00 | 1 ratings
Move to the Groove
2001
4.86 | 9 ratings
Rarum: Selected Recordings
2004

PAT METHENY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 5 ratings
Tokyo Day Trip Live EP (with Christian McBride and Antonio Snchez)
2008

PAT METHENY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.49 | 22 ratings

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Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

5 stars This is one of the gems of Pat Metheny's vast catalogue, and really overlooked here on PA. A one-off trio with legendary jazz players Billy Higgins (drums) and Charlie Haden (bass), the album covers a lot of ground, but is always excellent. And while the album starts off very straight, it is not all straight jazz. I have seen other reviewers characterize PM's music as 'safe', which is one of the adjectives that could be applied to PM but ONLY to a small minority of his very diverse catalogue. This album contains both very safe and very unsafe music. Indeed, this album develops a direct and virtually-linear musical trajectory, from some of PM's most straight jazz music to some of his most experimental music over its 44 minutes. It begins with what I think is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever put to record, "Lonely Woman" - very quiet and all acoustic, not at all progressive, but a really exquisite piece of (straight jazz) music. Over the subsequent songs PM adds electric guitars, and by Story from a Stranger has shifted to his Roland synth-guitar. The last two tunes ("The Calling" and "Waiting for an Answer") are very experimental, improvised free-jazz with crazy synth-guitar solos, bordering on fusion and are, to my mind, exemplary of my idea of progressive. These constitute one of the many examples over PM's career of a spirit of musical discovery and innovation (similar in spirit and to me even evocative of one of my favourite-ever sections of music - Mike Ratledge's fuzz-organ solo at the beginning of Facelift on Soft Machine's album 'Third'). This album is thus not, as a whole, safe. It is pioneering - music for music's sake. It is a musical journey. You can't listen to just the first few tunes of this album and understand it - you need to sit out the whole thing. This is one of the albums I keep coming back to for inspiration (including music inspiration - I also compose music). It is not perfect, and some probably will just not like the free jazz at the end (or the straight jazz at the beginning) but for me it is an original, truly inspiring musical statement. I give it 9.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just enough to garner a 5-star PA rating.
 Pat Metheny Group by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.07 | 100 ratings

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Pat Metheny Group
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

5 stars While Pat Metheny has put out so many albums, and so much great quality music, this first Pat Metheny Group (PMG) album remains for me a pinnacle (or one of many pinnacles). It is so musical, and contains many of PM's most requested and iconic compositions. Even after probably 1000 listens, I still get goose pimples when I hear the opening (and closing) lines of "San Lorenzo". This album is more jazz than fusion, and is less progressive than, say, 'Still Life Talking' (I call PMG's music progressive jazz rather than jazz-rock fusion, as most of their work contains very little rock. But much/some of it is highly progressive). Those who do not like jazz for being jazz (as opposed to liking fusion) will not appreciate this album. But I think for anyone who likes jazz, or progressive music in general, this is an absolutely essential musical masterpiece. Phase Dance set the stage for what would become a particular style of music that PMG cornered (whenever I picture Pat Metheny playing with his ubiquitous striped shirts, it is this song that first comes to mind), and he still plays this song at virtually every gig. Jaco is PM's tribute to the legendary Jaco Pastorious, who played with PM early on, and whose if often seen as creating a new style of jazz (and jazz-fusion) bass playing. The Aprils are lovely pieces (although you have to love jazz), and Lone Jack is exceptional and will/could appeal to progressive music lovers. The musicianship on this album is first rate, and while PM absolutely shines, so does Lyle Mays's piano work. Pat Metheny has put a huge diversity of music - he is one of this century's true originals. This album shines still as one of highlights of his long career. I give it 9.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.
 Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking) by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.84 | 83 ratings

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Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking)
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

5 stars This album probably best describes the sound of the Pat Metheny Group, and many PM fans would say it is his best ever (it is not my very favourite, but close). While categorized as 'jazz-rock fusion' here in PA, I would actually characterize the PMG sound as "progressive jazz", as there is not much 'rock' here (it is not like the fusion of Mahavishnu Orchestra or Return to Forever). However, it IS progressive, and really excellent. Minuando, the first track on this album, is perhaps the best example of such progressive jazz. Complex time signatures and melodies, counter-intuitive key changes, and diverse changing instrumentation are key features. But at the same an intense musicality. The rest of this album reflects a diversity of styles, ranging from such progressive jazz to regular jazz, very quiet ethereal music, rapid-fast guitar solos, and very beautiful acoustic-guitar ballads. In addition to Minuando, PM's song Last Train Home is one of PM's most iconic and requested compositions. The latter is not really progressive, but simply a beautiful evocative melody over a somewhat unique rhythm (a snare beat resembling the clickity-clack of a train). While this album is not my very favourite (the self-titled PMG album takes that spot for me), it is nonetheless up there with the best of PM, and would probably serve as the best introduction for those not familiar with PM's music. Each and every piece on this album is really excellent, not just good, and the album flows exceptionally well. Even though is is highly produced (I prefer my music more raw) whenever it ends I still always want more! I give this album 9.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.
 Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (↔) by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.77 | 51 ratings

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Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (↔)
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Comparing the number of ratings and reviews of Pat Metheny's albums to the number for many other contemporary artists, it seems that Pat's work could be getting overlooked by some who would really appreciate it. This is the most recent album released by Pat. For this album, Pat took the 'Unity Band' (Chris Potter on sax, Ben Williams on bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums), and added one new member (Giulio Carmassi on trumpet, synths, and other instruments) to make the 'Unity Group'. Although this could be looked at as a follow-up to the Unity Band album, in many ways the music is very different. While Unity Band is mostly mellow jazz played as jazz, 'Kin' is very dynamic and complex, much closer to his albums with the Pat Metheny Group (like his excellent 'This Way Up' album). For this band, Pat mixes some of his orchestrionics into the band (Carmassi controls those during the live show - I have seen his Unity Group live twice now - it is amazing to see xylophones, marimbas, and glass jugs suddenly come to life and play themselves!). Also, while Unity Band has mostly shorter pieces, this album has a number of extended compositions. The longest is the 15-minute opener "On Day One", which I think is one of the highlights of the album. The second piece ("Rise Up") is 10 minutes, and likely also to appeal to those who like more complex music. Both the fourth track ("Sign of the Season") and title track ("Kin") are roughly 11 minutes long, start very quiet and build up to a progressive jazz climax with exceptionally difficult fast drumming, similar to parts of This Way Up. The title track has some fantastic quasi-drum-soloing in the last minute or so (anyone who has not heard/seen Antonio Sanchez drum has not yet lived). The other tracks include either nice quiet acoustic-guitar-based short pieces, or faster sax-and-guitar jazz pieces, but otherwise do not stand out. One thing - I am a big Pat Metheny fan and love even most of his slow jazz, but have to admit that I don't like one of the tracks on this album (track 6: "Born", which I find to too slow, simple, and smalzy, with overly-simple drumming - I wish this had been replaced or plastered with another Sanchez drum solo!). But apart from that one tune, everything else on this is great, and the longer epic-like compositions are likely to appeal to anyone who likes the more progressive side of Pat. I give this 8.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, and thus 4 PA stars (would be 8.7 without the weaker tracks, which would have improved the flow).
 Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20 by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 19 ratings

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Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Pat Metheny decided to record an album of John Zorn compositions for this album, his second-most recent release. There are only two musicians on this album, Pat and drummer Antonio Sanchez, with Pat playing all the other instruments (even sitar and flugelhorn). Pat went through Zorn's Book of Angels catalogue and selected these six compositions - for some reason they had not yet been 'taken' for the first 19 Book of Angels. This album is really excellent! It is highly diverse, shifting between complex fast progressive-rock/jazz sections, to distorted noisy parts, to laid back acoustic guitar, to very quiet and slow (yet still tense) sections, to sections derivative of Klezmer. As the compositions are Zorn's, not Pat's, it does not have quite the same sound as most Pat Metheny albums, and on some songs if you didn't better you would not be able to tell it is Pat Metheny (saying this, when he solos you can almost always tell it is him!). This music is darker, more raw and more varied than typical PM. Each song is very different. The first track ("Mastema") is an up-tempo track likely to appeal to fans of progressive rock/jazz fusion. The second track is a laid-back long and quiet but beautiful piece featuring acoustic guitar. The third track starts with a somewhat Metheny-like piano pattern morphing into a complex Klezmer-like theme, then changes into a dark progressive jazz piece with Pat on synth-guitar and Antonio on complex drumming, then ends with a return to the complex theme. Really excellent! The 11-minute "Sariel" (Track 4) begins as an acoustic piece using Greco-Turkish scales, but then electric guitar and drums enter and the piece builds to a distorted climax (but with a two-minute acoustic guitar interlude in the middle). My favourite track on the album, however, is the 11-minute "Phanuel" (track 5), which is the slowest, darkest, yet to my mind the most beautiful piece on the album. Really haunting with excellent acoustic guitar (but really slow and with weird noises and voices in parts, so won't appeal to everyone). Track 6, meanwhile, is almost free jazz and very noisy. When I first listened to this album, I couldn't easily process it as it is so diverse, but have found that the more I listen to it, the more I want to put it on again, and while some sections are hardly musical, others are intensely musical and beautiful. It will take a number of listens - not for the faint of heart. All together, I give this album 8.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, so 4 PA stars (if the whole album had been like tracks 3 and 5 it would have scored above 9/10).
 Unity Band by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 21 ratings

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Unity Band
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars I just noticed that there are not yet any reviews of Pat Metheny's last three albums here on PA. This one is the first album from Pat's 'Unity Band', which includes Chris Potter on saxophones, Ben Williams, and the amazing Antonio Sanchez on drums. This album is, for the most part, more laid back than the follow-up 'Kin', which would include the same core lineup but add Giulio Carmassi on trumpet and other multiple instruments, creating the 'Unity Group' (as opposed to 'Band'). Unlike 'Kin', which will appeal to those who love progressive rock and not necessarily jazz, to like this 'Unity Band' album you will need to love jazz. But for those who do, it is really excellent jazz. The feel is set by first mellow guitar lines of the excellent 'New Year', followed by the equally excellent 'Roof Dogs'. The latter has become a common staple of Metheny's live show, and is among only two songs on this album with lots of energy, excellent fast high-pitched synth-guitar and sax solos (the other is the fast last song - 'Breakdealer'). 'Roof Dogs' is also likely the song that will appeal most to those who like the more progressive Metheny Group pieces. The rest of the album is mostly quiet and melodic (the first two minutes of Signals is a bit RIO, but it morphs into a great quiet slow piece), with Metheny playing his regular signature guitar sound on most songs (Roof Dogs is the main exception). To my mind, there is not a bad song on this album, and the compositions are excellent. I have listened to this album >20 times already. I like it slightly better than 'Kin'. I give it 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.
 Zero Tolerance For Silence by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.74 | 34 ratings

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Zero Tolerance For Silence
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The unimaginative creations of a highly skilled performer.

Jazz/Fusion fans have punished this "Zero Tolerance for Silence", Pat Methenys 1994 project. Yes, it is hideous but no big news. In fact it is an extraordinary lesson in self-contempt and self indulgence both. I mean, this cd was not given away, but sold! (If you want to hate me, pay for it!)

Lesson 2: No matter how well skilled you are at your weapon of choice, music writing is another galaxy.

Lesson 3: Is no big news Pat Metheny is no "big leagues" composer. Even though, everybody associates him of being Steve Reichs choice for his 1987 Electric Counterpoint, (the electric guitar version of a series of ongoing Reichs Counterpoints), the 3 piece composition was written solely by Reich. (Who humbly admits taking guitar playing advise for its recording by Pat, but that is it.)

Lesson who cares: Everybody knows Methenys best attribute is the mastering of his guitars. (Which he owns and displays proudly , like fellow virtuous guitarist and also "minor" composer, Steve Howe.)

How bad? Not worth my time, even for free! But an extraordinary master-class in "IT TAKES MORE THAN PERFORMING SKILLS TO BE AND BECOME A GIFTED COMPOSER", in the never ending music compositions quest.

**2 (could be worse, at least he is honestly mediocre) PA stars.

 Zero Tolerance For Silence by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.74 | 34 ratings

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Zero Tolerance For Silence
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Argonaught

1 stars Good Heavens!

I can't say I like experimental music too much. But, when listening to the likes of Elliott Sharp or Ornette Coleman or George Antheil or Mary Halvorson (God love her) I can objectively recognize and appreciate the merit their innovative effort even without being able to enjoy the music on a purely emotional level.

In other words, to get a one star review from me, you need to really hit my aesthetic taste buds with something really, really foul.

IMO, the Zero Tolerance for Silence is an acoustically offensive waste of 38 minutes. To sum up its essence and contents, it consists of a series of distorted guitar tracks, dubbed over other distorted guitar tracks and over still other ones, for the whole duration of the album. It's a close musical equivalent of randomly shooting a few hundred pain tballs of different colors against a concrete wall and calling the result a mural.

 Zero Tolerance For Silence by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.74 | 34 ratings

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Zero Tolerance For Silence
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by socrates0515

5 stars The wealth of negative ratings here should tell you that something is actually happening with this music.

By reading the other reviews here, you'd suspect PM attempted to create another record consistent with his group recordings, more mildly swinging and melodic offerings, played with virtuosity, broadly appealing to fans of so-called "jazz music" and "rock music" alike -- but he failed. Come on. PM knew what he was doing. His records are generally popular (or, at least, popular relative to other records store clerks file under "jazz"), and he's made quite a few for Geffen. This has allowed him to insist to his record company that this music be released to the public. Geffen agreed, likewise knowing what it was releasing.

Living deep within Pat Metheny's soul is a musical scientist. He knows what he's doing, he sets his own parameters, imposes his own structure and draws his own conclusions. Usually, he's the long-haired picker with the winning smile who leads his virtuoso band through familiar and appealing territory. Occasionally he's the Ornette Coleman acolyte paying homage to the master (those outings are likewise mostly panned by reviewers from his usual audience). Here he stands alone, having succeeded in bringing to his listeners a stark and unforgiving music which they'd never elect to put in their ears had they known better. It's a bold risk which has not resulted in his legions of fans suddenly embracing textured music in which harmony and meter are not prioritized. I doubt he expected such.

I shall not attempt to describe the music on this recording. Professor Monk's phrase "dancing about architecture" applies. I find the music here to be immensely revealing about Pat Metheny the musician and the guitar player (yes, there is an important distinction). If you're expecting a follow-up to "San Lorenzo," then this music is difficult. Try taking it on its own terms. It's a strong shot of espresso -- or whiskey. But it bears repeated listening. At times, the music is quite gentle and nuanced. Give it a chance.

Or, don't. But please recognize that an artist violating expectations, even for such learned and esteemed listeners whose reviews grace these pages, risks a strong, negative backlash, not for the music itself, but for the unmet anticipation.

 Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.24 | 208 ratings

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Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars I am not the hugest fan of smooth jazz but I can take it in small doses. The likes of Kenny G, The Rippingtons and their ilk are ok, but I generally prefer more of a bite in my jazz tastes with my favorites being the most adventurous musical souls. PAT METHENY alone and with his GROUP rarely manage to excite me and always tread lightly upon the musical paths they embark upon. Such the case can be said for this release THE WAY UP which seems to be universally hailed as their best album and judging by the handful of METHENY releases I have listened to so far, I would have to agree with that statement. Yes, this is still smooth jazz, but this is progressive smooth jazz!

This album was inspired by both the works of Steve Reich and Eberhard Weber, both of whom METHENY has worked with. This album is designed to be one long album long track that reaches just over 68 minutes in length but broken into 4 tracks only for navigational purposes. The sounds on here are very typical for METHENY, of what i've heard so far, but what is very different from other releases is that the compositions are much more complex than anything i've encountered from this group so far. They master the art of extending pieces and exploring variations on themes and add interesting solos as well.

Although this still reminds me of fluffy unsalted and unbuttered popcorn with cotton balls in the clouds in a place where calmness and serenity suffocate any remote threat of surprise and angst, the fact is that when the compositions are interesting as on this album, then I have to admit that the smoother and calmer side of the jazz-fusion spectrum can be quite interesting indeed. Although this will probably never rank up there in the top ranks of my all time treasured albums, this certainly has a worthy spot in my collection to fire up every now and again simply to ride the jazz-fusiony ethers that are as light and fluffy as a light breezy spring shower raining pillows and marshmallows on the fertile lands where only white bunnies and fuzzy easter chicks roam.

Thanks to Dick Heath for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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