Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PAT METHENY

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Pat Metheny picture
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...
read more

PAT METHENY forum topics / tours, shows & news


PAT METHENY forum topics Create a topic now
PAT METHENY tours, shows & news Post an entries now

PAT METHENY Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PAT METHENY videos (2) | Search and add more videos to PAT METHENY

Buy PAT METHENY Music



More places to buy PAT METHENY music online

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 | 96 ratings
Bright Size Life
1976
4.13 | 97 ratings
Watercolors
1977
4.09 | 122 ratings
Pat Metheny Group
1978
3.98 | 101 ratings
New Chautauqua
1979
3.89 | 90 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: American Garage
1979
3.31 | 48 ratings
80/81
1980
4.17 | 126 ratings
Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
1981
4.15 | 141 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Offramp
1982
3.58 | 32 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing
1984
3.61 | 76 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: First Circle
1984
3.62 | 34 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Falcon And The Snowman
1985
3.19 | 39 ratings
Pat Metheny - Ornette Coleman: Song X
1986
3.96 | 105 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking)
1987
3.32 | 82 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Letter From Home
1989
3.37 | 43 ratings
Pat Metheny, Dave Holland & Roy Haynes: Question And Answer
1990
4.20 | 144 ratings
Secret Story
1992
1.78 | 41 ratings
Zero Tolerance For Silence
1994
3.45 | 67 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here
1995
3.00 | 43 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Quartet
1996
3.87 | 40 ratings
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
1997
3.98 | 103 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day
1997
3.55 | 20 ratings
Jim Hall & Pat Metheny
1999
3.68 | 32 ratings
A Map Of The World
1999
3.27 | 28 ratings
Pat Metheny Trio: 99 ➡00
2000
4.02 | 25 ratings
Anna Maria Jopek & Pat Metheny: Upojenie
2002
3.92 | 85 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now
2002
3.39 | 43 ratings
One Quiet Night
2003
4.22 | 245 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up
2005
3.23 | 28 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau
2006
3.43 | 23 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau: Quartet
2007
3.25 | 30 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Christian McBride & Antonio Sanchez: Day Trip
2008
3.76 | 85 ratings
Orchestrion
2010
3.68 | 31 ratings
What's It All About
2011
3.59 | 33 ratings
Unity Band
2012
3.82 | 25 ratings
Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20
2013
3.82 | 65 ratings
Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (↔)
2014
4.07 | 121 ratings
From This Place
2020

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

3.75 | 60 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
2.57 | 7 ratings
Blue Asphalt (Pat Metheny Group)
1991
3.17 | 6 ratings
Unity Village
1993
4.09 | 46 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
2.67 | 3 ratings
Parallel Universe
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live Chicago '87
2015

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
We Live Here - Live in Japan
1995
4.16 | 18 ratings
Imaginary Day Live
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Speaking of Now Live
2003
4.83 | 31 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)

3.40 | 5 ratings
Tokyo Day Trip Live EP (with Christian McBride and Antonio Sánchez)
2008

PAT METHENY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 From This Place by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.07 | 121 ratings

BUY
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 | 121 ratings

BUY
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 | 121 ratings

BUY
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
4.16 | 18 ratings

BUY
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.

 Pat Metheny Group: Offramp by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.15 | 141 ratings

BUY
Pat Metheny Group: Offramp
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars With Mark Egan being away from the line up, Pat Metheny Group soldiers with their first 80's album. It has a more 80's synth sound as evidenced by the first track.

"Are you going with me" is a surprising depart from typical fluid fusion sound, having almost pop/rock rhythm, rock synths. "Au lait" is a light and subdued slightly Latin-based number led by piano and light guitar touches. "Eighteen" is the first track that is related to their previous output, energetic, good drumming, synths with slight country twist in the guitar sound. Synclavier is presented on the next track, "Offramp" with quite experimental rhythm and at first sight chaotic all-full- speed playing. Bass guitar is also very virtuosic. "James" is a trademark composition, light, lyrical with typical guitar playing by Metheny. Let's now omit great piano soloing by Mays. I think that this album has to offer than the previous three.

 Pat Metheny Group: American Garage by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.89 | 90 ratings

BUY
Pat Metheny Group: American Garage
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The stable quartett delivers another strong album on "American Garage". I think it is slightly more rock-oriented than before. Unlike some other fusion bands, emotions are on good display with this tight band. Tight interplay, clear motives and taste set the mark. The first track is not that distinctive yet, crosses smooth jazz with contemporary jazz but has a nice jazz sound. "Airstream" is a mellow beautifully developed guitar driven melancholic song. "The search" is a counterpart with lush piano and later country influenced twangy guitar coming to the busy synthesizer/drum/bass end. "American garage" has a rocking feeling judging by its name and sound but there's plenty of guitar hooks to be developed. "The epic" is indeed an epic and crown juwel of the album - plenty of drum/synth/guitar interplay and dynamic bass in the background. The most typical fusion pace-faced composition with a lot of tasty solos. A beautiful album.
 Pat Metheny Group by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.09 | 122 ratings

BUY
Pat Metheny Group
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Floating jazz album with traditional rock instruments. The sound is lyrical and maybe influenced also by country and folk. Keys are very easy going like in "San Lorenzo" where keyboards dominate, be it piano or synths in the background. "Phase dance" has a delicate jazz guitar which is fluid and accessible, miles different from other renowned jazz fusion guitars. Despite having a few chords and simple motive, rhythm and main section always have something to alternate.

"Jaco" veers towards jazz-rock with funk elements, having such name also putting bass guitar in the spotlight. Drumming is delicate with many fill-ins. "April joy" is an amazing upbeat number in the beginning which calms down later on. "Lone Jack" is a tour-de-force for all players. Based on a Latin beat, the guitar art is at the utmost level. Intensive drumming and bass will awake all listeners.

A very good fusion album.

 From This Place by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.07 | 121 ratings

BUY
From This Place
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Zoltanxvamos

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 on albums like Imaginary Day. This is a much more soft and warm album, it has a much more powerful and emotional feel rather than it being extremely technical. I don't want to delve too much into this album because you should really just listen to this beautiful album yourself. Take my word on it, this is Jazz done right.
 From This Place by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.07 | 121 ratings

BUY
From This Place
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.

 Unity Band by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.59 | 33 ratings

BUY
Unity Band
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars American guitarist and composer Pat Metheny has been one of my central jazz favourites since I got interested in jazz/fusion in the early 90's, but I haven't kept track of his latest output very closely. Orchestrion (2010) was very good, and exceptional in a way that Metheny is the only musician in it, playing 'orchestrion' (incl. pianos, marimbas, bells, basses, "guitarbots," percussion, cymbals, drums, loads of tuned bottles, and synth and fabricated acoustic instruments) with the use of advanced solenoid switch technology and pneumatics. Orchestrionics are occasionally heard also in this rather traditional-sounding contemporary jazz album, named after the line-up, ie. the quartet featuring Metheny, his trusted drummer Antonio Sanchez plus two new collaborators: Chris Potter (tenor & soprano saxes, bass clarinet) and Ben Williams (acoustic bass). All nine compositions are by Metheny who also produced the album.

The opener 'New Year' gives a good picture of the whole album, centering on the acoustic guitar's mellow approach and the strong melodicism of the tenor saxophone. Superb 'Roofdogs' has the distinctive guitar-synth sound familiar from the Pat Metheny Group era. 'Come and See' expands the sonic pallette with some kantele-like guitar and a bass clarinet, while also the rhythm section sounds great. Also tracks 4-6 are safe enjoyments for a Metheny listener, balancing between delicacy and the jazz liveliness represented mainly by tenor sax.

11˝-minute 'Signals (Orhestrion Sketch)' has more experimental vibes especially in the beginning, with live loops both from Metheny's Orchestrion -- lots of various percussion! -- and the band. Mellow 'Then and Now' gives the tenor sax very song-like melodic role. If the album in general feels slightly too safe and ordinary to the advanced Metheny listener, the fast-paced closing piece 'Breakdealer' will bring a welcome edginess. For me, this is a good Metheny album, not necessarily offering obvious, emotionally strong highlights like several Metheny albums I've listened to, but no mediocre tracks either within its nearly 66 minutes. Did I already mention that the playing of this quartet is excellent? I'd give 3˝ stars if I could, but rounding it down (on the Pat Metheny scale!) definitely doesn't mean this wasn't very good contemporary jazz featuring guitar and the regular tenor sax in a pretty democratic quartet approach.

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.