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PAT METHENY

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Pat Metheny biography
Patrick Bruce Metheny - Born on August 12, 1954 (Kansas City, USA)

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 giv...
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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)

3.88 | 103 ratings
Bright Size Life
1976
4.11 | 107 ratings
Watercolors
1977
4.11 | 134 ratings
Pat Metheny Group
1978
3.97 | 110 ratings
New Chautauqua
1979
3.90 | 95 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: American Garage
1979
3.31 | 53 ratings
80/81
1980
4.18 | 144 ratings
Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
1981
4.14 | 152 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Offramp
1982
3.58 | 35 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing
1984
3.82 | 79 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: First Circle
1984
3.70 | 42 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Falcon And The Snowman
1985
3.22 | 46 ratings
Pat Metheny - Ornette Coleman: Song X
1986
3.98 | 119 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking)
1987
3.34 | 90 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Letter From Home
1989
3.32 | 47 ratings
Pat Metheny, Dave Holland & Roy Haynes: Question And Answer
1990
4.20 | 156 ratings
Secret Story
1992
1.77 | 46 ratings
Zero Tolerance For Silence
1994
3.47 | 71 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here
1995
3.02 | 45 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Quartet
1996
3.86 | 46 ratings
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
1997
4.01 | 108 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day
1997
3.59 | 22 ratings
Jim Hall & Pat Metheny
1999
3.70 | 35 ratings
A Map Of The World
1999
3.29 | 30 ratings
Pat Metheny Trio: 99 ➡00
2000
4.04 | 26 ratings
Anna Maria Jopek & Pat Metheny: Upojenie
2002
3.92 | 92 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now
2002
3.43 | 47 ratings
One Quiet Night
2003
4.24 | 255 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up
2005
3.27 | 32 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau
2006
3.45 | 28 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau: Quartet
2007
3.23 | 33 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Christian McBride & Antonio Sanchez: Day Trip
2008
3.87 | 88 ratings
Orchestrion
2010
3.58 | 33 ratings
What's It All About
2011
3.54 | 35 ratings
Unity Band
2012
3.79 | 25 ratings
Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20
2013
3.81 | 65 ratings
Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (↔)
2014
4.07 | 136 ratings
From This Place
2020
3.86 | 7 ratings
Road to the Sun
2021
3.92 | 5 ratings
Dream Box
2023

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

3.76 | 68 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
2.75 | 8 ratings
Blue Asphalt (Pat Metheny Group)
1991
3.29 | 7 ratings
Unity Village
1993
4.08 | 50 ratings
The Road to You (as Pat Metheny Group)
1993
3.50 | 8 ratings
The Pat Metheny Group In Concert
1993
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Sign of 4
1996
3.92 | 7 ratings
Pat Metheny, Gary Burton & The Heath Brothers: All the Things You Are
1999
4.00 | 19 ratings
Trio Live
2000
3.40 | 5 ratings
Parallel Universe
2007
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live Chicago '87
2015
4.67 | 6 ratings
Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV)
2021

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
We Live Here - Live in Japan
1995
4.21 | 20 ratings
Imaginary Day Live
2001
4.08 | 5 ratings
Speaking of Now Live
2003
4.86 | 36 ratings
The Way Up - Live
2006

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

4.50 | 7 ratings
Works
1984
4.00 | 1 ratings
Move to the Groove
2001
4.86 | 9 ratings
Rarum: Selected Recordings
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Essential Collection - Last Train Home
2015

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

3.57 | 7 ratings
Tokyo Day Trip Live EP (with Christian McBride and Antonio Sánchez)
2008

PAT METHENY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories) by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.86 | 46 ratings

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Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by genbanks

4 stars I must say that this álbum blew my mind since the first listening. Here, two legendary jazz heros (and friends) joined forces to this masterpiece, a sort of pseudo acoustic, blending the wonderful guitar of Pat Methen with the majestic bass of Charlie Haden (RIP). In my case, I knew Pat Metheny thanks to my best friend (RIP), long time ago, but I was not aware of Charlie Haden since I discovered this álbum several years ago. Pat and Charlie had their first met in 1973 but became friends when Haden worked in Metheny's álbum 80/81 in 1980. Well known in the jazz universe, Haden had worked with big names as Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarret, and of course developed his own musical career. He had already played with Metheny in the albums Rejoicing and Song X, in addition to the forementioned 80/81. Both friends was talking along the years about to make a duet álbum and that idea was realized finally in 1997. Haden grew up in Forsyth, Misssouri, and Metheny born 20 years later in Lee's Summit, Missouri too. So this "Short stories" surely try to recreate their place but expanding the feelings beyond it. The álbum is a collection of 13 pieces, some covers (arranged and expanded by improvisation) and some pieces written by Haden and Metheny. Haden suggested four initial pieces to Metheny, which were The Precious Jewel, The moon is a harsh mistress, He's gone and Morricone's Cinema Paradiso main theme. Metheny loved the selection and the job began. In addition Haden had two of his compositions, Our spanish love and First song. Pat Metheny also suggested two pieces to cover wich was Mancini's Two for the road and Morricone's daughter Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso. Also Metheny contributed with his song Message for a friend. The álbum was completed with two brand new compositions, Waltz for Ruth from Haiden and Tears of rain from Metheny, and finally with a piece loved by both, composed for Haiden son Josh and called Spiritual (originally edited by Josh Haiden group Spain). The music is mainly pacefull and absolutely beautiful in most of the album, with the acoustic guitar and the double bass supported by some orchestration overdubbed by Metheny with a Synclavier. For my tastes, the most moving pieces are Two for the road, The moon is a harsh mistress (developed from a piece of Jim Webb), He's gone away (based on a traditional piece) and Spiritual. All of them peacefull and delicate pieces with a wonderful interaction between guitar and bass. Near them and maybe a stair below, but very beautiful too, I can rank Message to a friend, First song, The moon song, and both Cinema Pardiso's covers. Tears of rain stands a bit different in the way that it combines soft guitar lines with another more dynamic and almost virtuous ones. The Precious jewel is a good dynamic cover, as the openings Waltz for Ruth is not bad, but not much on my tastes. Our spanish love is the weak one in my opinión, being a bit out of place in the álbum. Highly recommended.
 Secret Story by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.20 | 156 ratings

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Secret Story
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Dream Box by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Dream Box
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars It's been a while since I've heard a Pat Metheny album that was entirely him doing solo guitar. (Orchestration doesn't count.) 1979's New Chatauqua (my first Metheny purchase back in 1980)) may be the only one I can think of (as well as the one album that I know that this album most reminds me of--besides the duets with Charlie Haden), though many of his albums contained solo pieces (as do his concerts), not many contain only him. Whereas the music of Pat's youth was much more diversified in dynamics and temperament, this one seems to be quite contemplative--reminding much more of the solo piano works of the late great BILL EVANS (which also makes this album quite reminiscent of the GREAT tribute album John McLaughlin did of Bill Evans songs on his 1993 album, "Time Remembered"). There are plenty of familiar melodies delivered in little riffs within the perfectly rendered guitar-generated songs. It always amazes me how quiet Pat's playing: both from his fingerboard work and his flatpicking. Also, I realize that none of these songs is rendered through one single track--that Pat often includes layers of support guitars and bass beneath his lead instrument, so I don't want to give the wrong impression with my categorization of this album as works of "solo guitar" play.

A very difficult album to rate (as are the individual songs which, again like John McLaughlin's 1993 "Time Remembered" album, all serve to evoke a flow of one contemplative, retrospective and introspective collection of songs) I find it difficult to now give this gorgeous, nostalgic album from one of the all-time masters of the melodic guitar anything less than five stars. Still, this is not New Age or smooth jazz so much as the privilege of sitting in the same room (space) with one of the great guitar masters. At the same time, there a few standout songs. The pop familiarity ("Spooky" and "Am I the Same Girl " come to mind) of 5. "Never Was Love" (5:57) is unmistakable and completely disarming. 6. "I Dream Too Easily" (5:08) sounds as if it is about to be blessed with a vocal by 1990s DIANA KRALL. 9. "Clouds Can't Change The Sky" (7:15) opens like a Cole Porter song before slowing down and spacing out for one of Pat's deeply emotional solo pieces--one that would have been rendered trebly more beautiful by Jeremy Lubbock's wonderful walls of sound from the London Orchestra or Toots Thielemans' harmonica for the Grammy Award winning 1992 album Secret Story album. And, of course, there is the album's opener, 1. "The Waves Are Not the Ocean" (7:14) whose introspective beauty sets the stage for all that is to follow.

Beauty. Something that is ever appreciated, never expected, always precious and satisfying.

A masterpiece of music but perhaps not necessarily of progressive rock music.

 Speaking of Now Live by METHENY , PAT album cover DVD/Video, 2003
4.08 | 5 ratings

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Speaking of Now Live
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars -- First review for this release --

Concentrating on the then-new album Speaking of Now (2002), this concert featuring also the same six-piece line- up can be evaluated more or less the same way as the mellow album. I'd like to cite Conor Fynes' album review: "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." I pretty much agree with these words, regarding this DVD. Being two hours and 15 minutes long, it of course contains other pieces too, but still the whole feels a bit too mellow, almost narcotic at places, for a concert experience.

Filmed at Tokyo's NHK Hall in September 2002, visually this DVD is done very skilfully. The elegant editing from multiple cameras is carefully balanced between close-ups of individual musicians and the broader angles, capturing the act of playing very sincerely. The hall and the all-seated audience have a somewhat stiff and serious aura to them, like in a classical music concert. The connection between the musicians and the audience is nowhere near the energy typically felt at rock concerts. Well, this isn't rock.

The show begins with Metheny's solo guitar piece 'Last Train Home' from the 1987 album Still Life (Talking), and on 'Go Get It' he's joined by the drummer. Perhaps the technical and relatively unemotional orientation of this track doesn't have the best possible moment so early in the concert. 'As It Is' involves the whole group and starts the run of the Speaking of Now album which continues for the majority of the show -- although not in the exactly same running order, and missing one track. Several pieces feature the wordless (?), humming-like vocals of Richard Bona (who also plays percussion, guitar and bass) that add to the esoteric calmness of the music. Ok, I admit being slightly unlogical for blaming the dominant mellowness while I'm not enthusiastic of the rougher moods of 'Scrap Metal'. I do tend to prefer mellowness in music, so how come it starts becoming a weakness here? Maybe it's just the lack of strong dynamics and energy on several compositions, like Conor said, and the lack of memorable melodies.

The music of Speaking of Now may not offer the long-time collaborator Lyle Mays on keyboards his finest contribution; sometimes his piano chords are sort of buried. Metheny's guitar work is the real star of course. I don't recall the name of the piece in which he plays a custom-made instrument with multiple sets of strings, including a kantele imitation, but that was a nice moment anyway. Despite my negative notions, all in all this is a very fine DVD, both in general and as a Metheny release, only slightly less recommended if you're seeking more dynamic fusion. 3˝ stars rounded up for a generous running time and high technical quality.

 The Way Up - Live by METHENY , PAT album cover DVD/Video, 2006
4.86 | 36 ratings

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The Way Up - Live
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by MaxnEmmy

5 stars This is extreme jazz. A four part suite built on motifs which repeat throughout the composition. The playing is quite phenomenal with all the intricate nuances which pervade the nature of this type of music. Pat and Lyle always wanted to explore music as language and convey the idea of poetry through sound. In this realm they achieved their goals. It not only explores deep musical emotion, it gets right to the heart of what music really means. They wanted to go up and this is their way. The title says it all. The DVD was filmed in South Korea and the musicianship is absolutely superb. This is highly recommended for anyone who believes in music as a vehicle for contemplation of beauty.
 Works by METHENY , PAT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1984
4.50 | 7 ratings

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Works
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Lupton

5 stars I admit I am not familiar with Pat Metheny's albums apart from Offramp so I cannot really assess how well this compilation represents his back catalogue. What I can say is the music here is just superb. The opening track"Sueno Con Mexico" is a gorgeous acoustic number with Metheny overdubbing some electric base. "Heartland" reminds me of Aaron Copland during his Rodeo phase. I love the punchy lead lines on this track - it is probably my favourite track on the whole album."James" -apparently an ode to Jame Taylor is also quite exhilarating with some absolutely sublime soloing towards the end.There are really no weak tracks at all and despite containing only seven tracks this album is an immensely rewarding listening experience.If you like melodic proggy jazz this album is a definite must own

5 stars

 From This Place by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.07 | 136 ratings

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From This Place
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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.
 From This Place by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.07 | 136 ratings

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From This Place
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ComaEcliptic

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 sounds like I could have. With the soft piano tone that Lyle had done with Pat for decades, this almost seems like an unplanned tribute to the musician. The tracks themselves are of Pat Metheny Group style, with the acoustic genius of Pats first solo albums (Bright Size Life, and Watercolors). Time to rank the tracks.

America Undefined, long and whimsical, acoustic jazz to the max of course. Its the longest track on the album coming in at 13:22. Soft, retro Pat Metheny type stuff. 12/15

Wide and Far, A bit more modern than the previous, with Pats work in Unity Group, this shows those elements a bit more. Still really good, but more pleasing. 9/10

You Are, Simple, but effective. Emotional, very emotional, very warm. I love this track, its simple but damn good. 5/5

Same River, a bit more reminiscent of As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. Impressive. 5/5

Pathmaker, is yet again a very retro jazz bit by Pat. More acoustic, whimsical, and mellow. 9/10

The Past in Us, again more acoustically driven like old PMG music. Very good, very warm, whimsical yet again. 5/5

Everything Explained, Keyboard driven like the PMG of old. Nice piano work, nice sounding, quaint, nice. 5/5

From This Place, very good jazzy vocal track from Pat, one of the first tracks I've heard from Pat that has actual lyrics. Incredible, emotional, love it to bits. 5/5

Sixty-Six, Back to Fusion. I feel like this is just another really well put together Jazz fusion bit from Pat. Lovely. 10/10

Love May Take A While, Strings, Jazz, yes, a combination from heaven. 5/5

So do we have another really good about from Pat Metheny? No, we have a fantastic one, the more acoustic driven elements just make this album better for me. This is just a very well crafted record with plenty to offer.

Total Grade : 70/75

Total Percentage : 93%

Essential: a masterpiece of jazz fusion music.

 From This Place by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.07 | 136 ratings

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From This Place
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Imaginary Day Live by METHENY , PAT album cover DVD/Video, 2001
4.21 | 20 ratings

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Imaginary Day Live
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars American guitarist Pat Metheny has been among my favourites longer than any other jazz oriented artist, since the early 90's. I own three concert DVD's from him, and this is review is actually the first Metheny DVD review in ProgArchives altogether. About time!

The time is July 1998 and the venue is not-so-ordinary stage at the Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California. The film is beautifully directed and edited by Steve Rodby, the bassist of the seven-piece group. The composition credits are shared by Metheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays. The main body of the set is from the then-latest album Imaginary Day (1997), which is one of the finest and most eclectic Pat Metheny Group albums.

On the opening solo number 'Into the Dream' Metheny plays peculiar 42-string "Pikasso" guitar that produces sounds reminiscent to kantele or zither. The group joins him on the groovy, bright & happy 'Follow Me' that features also some wordless singing from multi- instrumentalists Mark Ledford (trumpet, guitar, percussion) and Philip Hamilton (percussion, guitar). The frontman himself throws in his trade mark high- pitched guitar sound.

The 10-minute title track is an impressive example of the way this wonderful group builds exciting sonic textures and eclectic musical vocabulary without ever losing a certain positively charged accessibility and emotion. 'Heat of the Day' is a hectic piece full of percussive vitality but also a more serene pianism of Mays. Mellow 'Across the Sky' approaches a song structure in a nice way. The warm-spirited gig ends with three pieces outside of Imaginary Day. 'Message to a Friend' is a moody acoustic guitar solo.

Extra features on the 93-min. DVD include a Metheny interview, discography (f. album covers and track lists), band member biographies, and Notes About the Album / Instrumentation / Tracks / Writing Process. Reading it all can be a bit exhausting, but in the end these extras help this DVD deserve a sincere recommendation for all fans of Pat Metheny. Musically speaking, this is easily one of the most enjoyable jazz/fusion live DVD's I have ever viewed.

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

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