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Pat Metheny - Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20 CD (album) cover

TAP - JOHN ZORN'S BOOK OF ANGELS, VOL. 20

Pat Metheny

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.82 | 19 ratings

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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).
Walkscore | 4/5 |

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