Archive | January, 2010

Pat Metheny Group @ Krizanke

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Pat Metheny Group @ Krizanke

Posted on 28 January 2010 by Kavselj

Its hard to summarize Pat Metheny’s work as his consistent quality doesn’t allow much omission. With 17 Grammy awards in styles from Rock to Jazz and collaborations with musicians like Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman I will only present a small part of his works with his Group. Pat Metheny actually formed his Group with album called ‘WaterColors‘ even if this one wasn’t carrying the groups name. Band was originally formed with musicians Lyle Mays on keys, Mark Egan (Eberhard Weber preformed on Watercolors) on Bass and Dan Gottlieb on drums and had many various jazz musicians featuring on 15 albums till date. Watercolors was turning point in many ways as it practically defined new musical form blending folk, world, pop, rock and electro elements with jazz. Their unique style was widely recognized with first official release ‘Pat Metheny Group‘. This album is still reference to jazz musicians that are searching for new musical expression and was real revolution in that period especially because of the strange sound as Metheny and Mays used different synths and effects (for example Synclavier). It marked Metheny as ‘new age’ jazz musician, and evoked different reactions among traditional jazz scene.

Their first album that received Grammy award was Offramp where Mark Egan was replaced by current band member bassist Steve Rodby. The album starts with beautiful string theme from Lyle but true character was given with unforgettable piece that revealed the true soul of Metheny. Starting slow atmospheric and building the tune into something gloriously ascendant and groovy that after 9 minutes leaves you begging for more.

Next stop on exploring various styles around the world was Brazilian influenced ‘Still Life (Talking)‘. Metheny describes it as one of three most important records of the Group (besides First Circle and Letter from Home). There are at least two grand and unforgettable moments with Minuano (Six Eight) and epic Last train home.

This record was also important because of quite extensive use of vocals and vocal effects, that gives it even wider perspective.

‘We live here’ is a great project where synergistic effects of collaboration with Lyle Mays came to its peak. With many guest artists performing this is by some critics the most difficult work to love. But with ‘To the End of the World’ its also one of the essential records to have in your collection. We live here was followed by the extensive world tour and beautiful documentary was done from it. Drummer on this release was Paul Wertico that has replaced Gotllieb from ‘First Circle’ on.

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Latest masterpiece is dated to 2005. ‘The Way up’ is almost 70 minutes long piece that is split into four tracks and shows the groups ability to improvise in harmonic and dynamic aspect. Antonio Sanchez that joined the band with ‘Speaking of now’ strongly affirms himself here and all the other members progress and create this unbelievable work.

Even if it’s not in the Groups frame I have to at least mention latest Metheny solo project. Orchestrion is by far the most complex project and best described from Pat himself.

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