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Thread: Time for a New Pat Metheny Group Thread

  1. #101
    ECM released a promo-only live album of the Pat Metheny Group from 1977 that included "Wrong Is Right."

    https://www.discogs.com/Pat-Metheny-...elease/1776577

  2. #102
    Incidentally, I took drum lessons with Paul Wertico once and he mentioned that the live Gary Burton record with Larry Coryell was Pat's favorite album.

  3. #103
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    ^^^
    Interesting! Just got a copy of Unity Band in the mail today. I passed on this one back in 2012 but I'm glad I picked it up. A superb recording job by James Farber, and the band sounds really good.

  4. #104
    Member bigjohnwayne's Avatar
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    I grew up with a lot of Pat Metheny around thanks to my dad and I've been slowly purchasing used copies of his stuff, basically in chronological order. My dad preferred his Pat Metheny Group stuff to his more out there jazz or trio style offerings, so I am excited to hear more of Pat in that mode.

    Last week I ordered 80/81 and Witchita Falls. Eager to spin both. All I have heard so far has been better than I remembered it.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnwayne View Post
    Last week I ordered 80/81 and Witchita Falls. Eager to spin both. All I have heard so far has been better than I remembered it.
    Those are both great albums. Very different too so you'll have a lot of diverse music to dig into.

  6. #106
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    I've always assumed Zero Tolerance for Silence was just 40 minutes of feedback the way people talk about it, but I like this album a lot.

    It sounds like a long lost Nels Cline record from the early 2000s.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnwayne View Post
    I've always assumed Zero Tolerance for Silence was just 40 minutes of feedback...
    Sadly no; that would have been an improvement.





    I am joking!!!!

  8. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnwayne View Post
    Last week I ordered 80/81 and Witchita Falls. Eager to spin both. All I have heard so far has been better than I remembered it.
    Wichita Falls is one seriously beautiful record. That title track is epic, and haunting. The ending always gets to me.

    I haven't heard 80/81 actually, but that's going on my list.

    Tonight I've got First Circle playing. "Yoland, You Learn" just might be my single most favorite PMG tune. I will never forget the first time I heard it.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Wichita Falls is one seriously beautiful record. That title track is epic, and haunting. The ending always gets to me.

    I haven't heard 80/81 actually, but that's going on my list.

    Tonight I've got First Circle playing. "Yoland, You Learn" just might be my single most favorite PMG tune. I will never forget the first time I heard it.
    I concur with you relative to "As Falls Wichita.."; that title cut is the first time I heard Pat do something so overtly progressive (not just Jazz/Rock Prog, but almost symphonic). Only 3 musicians play on the album with Pat also taking on the bass guitar as well. Lyle Mays is credited with playing piano, Prophet 5 & Oberheim FVS synthesizers, Synclavier II, electric organ and auto harp and man does he get the best out of those instruments. Such a winding, evocative affair over 20 minutes long; however it's over before you know it. The trance-like nature of it always mesmerizes me and I hear something new each time I play it (which isn't often, I never want to wear it out). Naná Vasconcelos adding percussion, the berimbau and those haunting vocal colorings.

    There are portions of the song where the crowd "background" sounds and children's laughter remind me of "McArthur Park", definitely a Jimmy Webb feeling there. And, as you pointed out, that apocalyptic ending barrage of strings takes it out with a menacing sense of imminent peril.

    Side two has some good stuff on it as well, especially the moving tribute to Bill Evans.

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    I concur with you relative to "As Falls Wichita.."; that title cut is the first time I heard Pat do something so overtly progressive (not just Jazz/Rock Prog, but almost symphonic). Only 3 musicians play on the album with Pat also taking on the bass guitar as well. Lyle Mays is credited with playing piano, Prophet 5 & Oberheim FVS synthesizers, Synclavier II, electric organ and auto harp and man does he get the best out of those instruments. Such a winding, evocative affair over 20 minutes long; however it's over before you know it. The trance-like nature of it always mesmerizes me and I hear something new each time I play it (which isn't often, I never want to wear it out). Naná Vasconcelos adding percussion, the berimbau and those haunting vocal colorings.

    There are portions of the song where the crowd "background" sounds and children's laughter remind me of "McArthur Park", definitely a Jimmy Webb feeling there. And, as you pointed out, that apocalyptic ending barrage of strings takes it out with a menacing sense of imminent peril.

    Side two has some good stuff on it as well, especially the moving tribute to Bill Evans.
    Thank you for those insights. It's astonishing how much sound Pat and Lyle get out of their instruments on this record; in spite of being a 3-person lineup basically, it sounds so lushly orchestrated and full. The ending of "As Falls Wichita..." actually gets me choked up when I hear it -- which is rare for a purely instrumental piece to do for me. Something about those chord ascensions reaches into my heart and squeezes just a little...

    It makes me want to go and listen to it again. I think I'll queue that one up for today.

    Side two is also great, even if it's not as epic as the title track. The tribute song is beautiful. And the two more upbeat tracks are a nice counterpoint to the more melancholy material, helping to balance the mood out a bit.

    That cover artwork too; it perfectly fits the music, IMO. This may not be my most-reached-for Pat Metheny record, but it's certainly one of his works that hits me the hardest.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Wichita Falls is one seriously beautiful record. That title track is epic, and haunting. The ending always gets to me.

    I haven't heard 80/81 actually, but that's going on my list.
    Everything you write about As Falls... jibes with my viewpoint of the record, including the emotion the title track evokes. I'm totally with you, man. 80/81 is a completely different animal, but also a stunning recording, and noteworthy for the caliber of the "sidemen"; especially since PM was still only 25 when it was recorded. I'd have a hard time leaving either off of a desert-island list!
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    I concur with you relative to "As Falls Wichita.."; that title cut is the first time I heard Pat do something so overtly progressive (not just Jazz/Rock Prog, but almost symphonic). Only 3 musicians play on the album with Pat also taking on the bass guitar as well. Lyle Mays is credited with playing piano, Prophet 5 & Oberheim FVS synthesizers, Synclavier II, electric organ and auto harp and man does he get the best out of those instruments. Such a winding, evocative affair over 20 minutes long; however it's over before you know it. The trance-like nature of it always mesmerizes me and I hear something new each time I play it (which isn't often, I never want to wear it out). Naná Vasconcelos adding percussion, the berimbau and those haunting vocal colorings.

    There are portions of the song where the crowd "background" sounds and children's laughter remind me of "McArthur Park", definitely a Jimmy Webb feeling there. And, as you pointed out, that apocalyptic ending barrage of strings takes it out with a menacing sense of imminent peril.

    Side two has some good stuff on it as well, especially the moving tribute to Bill Evans.
    I always enjoy reading descriptions of “As Falls...” You did a good job there.

    And Nana is so much of that track. Even though he stands out, he is way more important than most people know. What a phenom he was. I had a mystical experience at one of his Solo concerts due to his amazing presence and musicianship.

    RIP Nana. And Lyle!!

    And long live Pat!

  13. #113
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Great album. Its more like a sonic work of art rather than just another PM album. Its a once every few years spin for me...on cd. The new one is pretty great too. My favs are The Way Up and Still Life Talking, with Secret Story up there too. The guy is a treasure and is one of the most important jazz musicians ever imo...talk about taking jazz into new areas of the universe, eh?

  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    Everything you write about As Falls... jibes with my viewpoint of the record, including the emotion the title track evokes. I'm totally with you, man. 80/81 is a completely different animal, but also a stunning recording, and noteworthy for the caliber of the "sidemen"; especially since PM was still only 25 when it was recorded. I'd have a hard time leaving either off of a desert-island list!
    Thanks man. I'm glad that there are other folks here who feel that way about this music. And I'm definitely going to check out 80/81.


    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Great album. Its more like a sonic work of art rather than just another PM album. Its a once every few years spin for me...on cd. The new one is pretty great too. My favs are The Way Up and Still Life Talking, with Secret Story up there too. The guy is a treasure and is one of the most important jazz musicians ever imo...talk about taking jazz into new areas of the universe, eh?
    Still Life Talking was the first PMG disc I ever heard. It's a great one! It was probably the first jazz album I ever owned actually, and to be honest I wasn't ready for jazz yet at that point in my life (even though I wanted to be). But I didn't give up on it, and actually got The Way Up just a little while later and listened to that one quite a bit too. There were pieces I liked, but I struggled with jazz until I got a few years older and developed an appreciation for it.

    A few years later I got Letter From Home, and then everything clicked into place. That's my favorite PMG record still, even though First Circle contains my favorite PMG tune (Yolanda, You Learn). I totally agree that Pat is one of the most important jazz musicians to ever walk this planet. He's my 2nd favorite guitarist ever, right after Allan Holdsworth. Totally different approach to music, but Pat conveys so much emotion in his playing and writing. He makes it sound effortless too, even though I'm sure it's not.

    Secret Story is a masterpiece -- and I don't use that word very often. It's an incredible piece of work.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post

    Secret Story is a masterpiece -- and I don't use that word very often. It's an incredible piece of work.
    Experiencing it live was pretty amazing! Re-creating pieces like Finding and Believing is no small feat.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    Experiencing it live was pretty amazing! Re-creating pieces like Finding and Believing is no small feat.
    Dude, I can't even imagine what that must have been like! That's awesome!

    "Finding and Believing" is a fantastic piece. Where/when did you see him perform it?

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Dude, I can't even imagine what that must have been like! That's awesome!

    "Finding and Believing" is a fantastic piece. Where/when did you see him perform it?
    On the 1992 tour in Syracuse. Pat played here a lot over the years. I've been to 7 shows.

  18. #118
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    Lately been listening to Pat Metheny w/ Dave Holland & Roy Haynes' questions and answer--sounds very much like a live album, but cut one take in the studio (I think), but yeah, very good. Metheny can be very fast on the guitar. Also listening to Rejoicing, another unusual lp with some acoustic on it.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippypants View Post
    Lately been listening to Pat Metheny w/ Dave Holland & Roy Haynes' questions and answer--sounds very much like a live album, but cut one take in the studio (I think), but yeah, very good. Metheny can be very fast on the guitar. Also listening to Rejoicing, another unusual lp with some acoustic on it.
    PM has visited the trio format a few times. His first solo recording (Bright Size Life) was a trio with Jaco and Bob Moses, and a few years after Q & A he recorded Trio 99->00 with Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart, and Day Trip with Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez. Among his more "jazz" recordings, the trio records have always been a favorite of mine, as they each take on their own distinctive character based on who's in the bass and drum chairs.
    David
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  20. #120
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    Great drum sound on the Question & Answer CD. Pat's chops were really up because the album was recorded right after a long Metheny Group tour.

  21. #121
    This evening I dusted off As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls for the first time in quite a while. That title track is so haunting; I'll never forget the way it felt hearing it for the first time. It still gets to me too.

    On a sorta related note, here's a video of the bassist from the Japanese fusion band Dezolve covering "Minuano" by PMG:


  22. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    And Nana is so much of that track. Even though he stands out, he is way more important than most people know. What a phenom he was. I had a mystical experience at one of his Solo concerts due to his amazing presence and musicianship.
    I can well believe it. I saw him a couple of times playing with Jan Garbarek and he was never less than mesmerising.
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