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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


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

3.88 | 94 ratings
Bright Size Life
1976
4.13 | 94 ratings
Watercolors
1977
4.08 | 119 ratings
Pat Metheny Group
1978
3.99 | 99 ratings
New Chautauqua
1979
3.88 | 87 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: American Garage
1979
3.30 | 46 ratings
80/81
1980
4.17 | 124 ratings
Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
1981
4.23 | 135 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Offramp
1982
3.57 | 30 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing
1984
3.60 | 73 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: First Circle
1984
3.67 | 32 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Falcon And The Snowman
1985
3.20 | 39 ratings
Pat Metheny - Ornette Coleman: Song X
1986
3.96 | 101 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking)
1987
3.32 | 81 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Letter From Home
1989
3.39 | 42 ratings
Pat Metheny, Dave Holland & Roy Haynes: Question And Answer
1990
4.20 | 139 ratings
Secret Story
1992
1.81 | 41 ratings
Zero Tolerance For Silence
1994
3.44 | 66 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: We Live Here
1995
3.00 | 42 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Quartet
1996
3.86 | 38 ratings
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
1997
4.09 | 100 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day
1997
3.65 | 20 ratings
Jim Hall & Pat Metheny
1999
3.71 | 31 ratings
A Map Of The World
1999
3.31 | 27 ratings
Pat Metheny Trio: 99 ➡00
2000
4.00 | 24 ratings
Anna Maria Jopek & Pat Metheny: Upojenie
2002
3.93 | 82 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now
2002
3.41 | 42 ratings
One Quiet Night
2003
4.22 | 240 ratings
Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up
2005
3.23 | 28 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau
2006
3.45 | 23 ratings
Metheny - Mehldau: Quartet
2007
3.25 | 29 ratings
Pat Metheny w/ Christian McBride & Antonio Sanchez: Day Trip
2008
3.76 | 83 ratings
Orchestrion
2010
3.67 | 30 ratings
What's It All About
2011
3.61 | 31 ratings
Unity Band
2012
3.85 | 25 ratings
Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels, Vol. 20
2013
3.82 | 62 ratings
Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (↔)
2014
4.00 | 72 ratings
From This Place
2020

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

3.74 | 58 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 | 44 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
3.92 | 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Chicago '87
2015

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
We Live Here - Live in Japan
1995
4.35 | 17 ratings
Imaginary Day Live
2001
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
 Pat Metheny Group: Offramp by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.23 | 135 ratings

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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
3.88 | 87 ratings

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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
4.08 | 119 ratings

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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
4.00 | 72 ratings

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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.
 Unity Band by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.61 | 31 ratings

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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.

 Pat Metheny Group: Offramp by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.23 | 135 ratings

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Pat Metheny Group: Offramp
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Updating the fusion sound for the 1980s, the Pat Metheny Group's Offramp benefits greatly from the crystal-clear production values which jazz fans have come to expect from anything hailing from the ECM stable. Brazilian rhythms intermingle with more art-pop influences - think Remain In Light-era Talking Heads gone jazz. (Or perhaps, for a more fusion-specific example, think of how Eno's Another Green World influenced the formation and early sound of Brand X, and then imagine that the Metheny Group had been similarly sonically influenced by My Life In the Bush of Ghosts.) Perhaps key to the sonic departure and development here is Metheny's adoption of a synth guitar, with his experiments with it here adding a new texture to the Group's sound and a new tool in the fusion toolbox.
 Pat Metheny - Ornette Coleman: Song X by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.20 | 39 ratings

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Pat Metheny - Ornette Coleman: Song X
Pat Metheny Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by samur

4 stars I wonder why it's such a low rating here? Sure, it's hard to digest, but I think that you can say the same about most of krautrock music. For the most part music on this album has the same vibes as some great krautrock, ie. "UFO" by Guru Guru. You just have to surrender and welcome all this sonic noise and then you can hear much more than noise. If you will, be ready for some cool adventures? On the second side music changes into more relaxed and simple to south your mind after it was working on high speed... I recommend to listen to this kind of music with closed eyes, relaxed in kind of meditative mode. This album makes me to discover Ornette Coleman more. Recommended!
 Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing by METHENY , PAT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.57 | 30 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
4.08 | 119 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
3.96 | 101 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.
Thanks to Dick Heath for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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