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  1. #1

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    I am a huge fan of the old jazz greats: Django, Wes, Grant Green, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, George Benson, Kenny Burrel, Barney Kessel etc. They all have that funky, bluesy, jazzy guitar style that I love. However, for some reason I just can't get into Pat Metheny. I hear everybody talk about how great he is. And I really want to like it. So far the only thing I really liked is his version of ATTYA with Jim Hall.

    All his other stuff feels so corny to me. Like the smooth jazz you hear in the mall/the weather channel or that new agey stuff. Especially his synth guitar.

    Also, as a person Pat Metheny seems quite pretentious. Of course what Kenny G did is not cool. But as I said, I think his music sounds almost as corny as Kenny G's stuff.

    Will the jazz police arrest me? Am I tone deaf? Am I not smart/deep enough? Will I get the banhammer?

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  3. #2

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    No. No. No. And no.

    If you don't dig him then you don't dig him.

    Many musicians in jazz are an acquired taste for some, an instantaneous favorite for others. Pat Metheny is one of those. I strongly prefer his earlier stuff with the Pat Metheny Group (the albums "Offramp" and earlier) but my reaction to most of the PMG stuff after that ranges from "meh" to "OMG make it stop." I have talked to a lot of jazz fans over the years, however, who feel exactly the opposite. So maybe try listening to the first Pat Metheny Group album, which is just called "The Pat Metheny Group" and the next one which is called "American Garage." I liked the quartet with Lyle Mays, Danny Gottlieb and Mark Egan the best of all of his bands. I don't particularly care for his first big splash which was "Bright Size Life;" but for many people that's one of their favorite jazz guitar albums. Everybody's right: taste is very personal, after all. I do, however, like a lot of his records recorded outside of PMG. They tend to be more swinging, for one thing, and playing with different musicians seems to bring something else out of him that I like. I would like to see his duo with Ron Carter sometime. With those other groups his sound seems somewhat less processed with less delay, reverb and a little more directness.

    I suppose it is relatively easy to see him as pretentious in interviews but I think Metheny is one of the most articulate musicians to be interviewed. He can explain what it is he is trying to achieve with music very clearly whereas many musicians don't fare so well in interviews. Even if I don't particularly care for it he has a very clear and strong conception for every project he takes on. While he can play the standards he also does not lazily default to an 80-year-old repertoire and writes his own stuff. Metheny has an excellent grasp of the history and the sweep of jazz. He also understands where he sits within that context and does not usually pretend to false modesty. I also have quite a bit of respect in that he built his position and popularity in jazz the old-fashioned way: relentless touring for years on end. In the early days, he and his band drove around in a van, hundreds of thousands of miles, playing any gig they could get to get established. I first saw him in a college gym in Decorah IA in 1981. They loaded in their equipment, they played the gig, they loaded out their equipment, got in the van and drove away. The next time I saw him was two or three years later at the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, so he had moved up a bit, and while he can fill large venues and festivals he still does some club gigs such as playing at the Dakota. He was just there with one of his projects called Side Eye last week.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #3

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    I have tried several times to like Metheny's music. I have failed. I just can't listen to it. But my taste is just mine, there is no accounting for it.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I am a huge fan of the old jazz greats: Django, Wes, Grant Green, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, George Benson, Kenny Burrel, Barney Kessel etc. They all have that funky, bluesy, jazzy guitar style that I love. However, for some reason I just can't get into Pat Metheny. I hear everybody talk about how great he is. And I really want to like it. So far the only thing I really liked is his version of ATTYA with Jim Hall.

    All his other stuff feels so corny to me. Like the smooth jazz you hear in the mall/the weather channel or that new agey stuff. Especially his synth guitar.

    Also, as a person Pat Metheny seems quite pretentious. Of course what Kenny G did is not cool. But as I said, I think his music sounds almost as corny as Kenny G's stuff.

    Will the jazz police arrest me? Am I tone deaf? Am I not smart/deep enough? Will I get the banhammer?
    I dunno, among some he's a divisive figure. I find his music a bit too smooth the stomach, but I do like some of his tunes, James, Phase Dance, Bright Size, they are classics....

    Myself - I've ALWAYS prefered him as a sideman. I can't be bothered with much of the PMG stuff, but I REALLY like Bright Size Life.

    So here's my case for the defence





    It sometimes striking how different he sounds when not on his own stuff....

  6. #5

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    I was in the same boat regarding Metheny. Then one day I was driving down the country road leading to my house and a track came on NPR and it really blew me away. After it was over, they said it was Pat Metheny. Since that time, I'd say I enjoy about 80% of what he does. The really far out experimental stuff I respect, but don't really enjoy. But everything from "Question and Answer" to "We Live Here" brings me a lot of pleasure to listen to.

    I saw him live in Detroit at maybe the 2nd or 3rd performance of "The Way Up" and it was electrifying. The second half he played almost 2 hours just doing the tunes he knows his fans love. While the ensemble changed up a lot, Pat never left the stage. My wife commented "That guy really works hard up there!" His total investment in the music and in performance really inspired me.

    Who knows what it is that suddenly causes our ears to open up to a player? I don't rush it, but when there is a player who doesn't do anything for me, but I know he is truly talented and people whom I respect admire his work, I just figure maybe one day I'll "get it" with that player and add one more to my list of people I enjoy. Until then, I take care not to disparage someone who is truly talented, accomplished, and yet whom I still don't really "get."
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  7. #6

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    When I was a student at GIT in the early 80's, I heard Charlie Haden was doing a gig at a vegetarian restaurant in Venice CA and would have a "special guest." Partway through the set, in walks Pat--just as I had hoped.

    After the gig I went up to Pat to say hello and tell him how much I liked his music, that I was a student, transcribed some solos.

    He was extremely cordial. Shook my hand, said very encouraging things about studying and playing, GIT, Howard Roberts, Joe Diorio. That was a long time ago, and Pat wasn't as well known as he is now. But he was about as nice as could be to a young player with a mild beer buzz trying to hang and act cool.

    But I totally get if not everybody likes everything he ever played. I could live with "Zero Tolerance for Silence," for example.

  8. #7

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    I don't really get him either, and I'm also not altogether sure why.

    My favourite of his albums is "Question and Answer", more or less a straight ahead trio set. But it's just an enjoyable album, not something that's going to make my "favourite albums of all time" list. I like bits and pieces of his other stuff, but none of it blows me away.

    I've seen him live a few times, and always find my attention wandering. I can appreciate the skill, but he somehow fails to engage.

    Oddly enough I massively prefer many players supposedly heavily influenced by Metheny, particularly Rosenwinkel but also guys like Ben Monder and Matthew Stevens. Having sat virtually unmoved through Metheney's set 4 or 5 times I've saw Rosenwinkel once thought it was mind-blowingly good, one of the best concerts I've heard.

    It's got nothing to do with his personality: he doesn't strike me as particularly likeable, but that's true of so many of my musical heroes. You have to separate the man from the work.

  9. #8

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    I liked Bright Size Life and PMG, also Watercolors.

    I though that he did a terrific job on this arrangement and performance, even better than the album version of the same tune.


  10. #9

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    When the jazz police come knocking, just tell them that you only listen to horn players.

    Then you don't have to deal with Metheny, AND you get street cred for being a self-loathing guitarist.

    Win-win.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  11. #10

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    I think the non fans mostly like BSL. I think it's hard to argue with that album.

    I'm a big fan. Not into his synth either but I've seen him live in several occasions and formations and he's always been really good. Fun fact, I've never learned any of his sos but his phrasing sometimes makes it into my playing.

    He's not pretentious IMHO but he created this image/persona/brand purposefully to be more popular and mainstream, and it worked.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    I liked Bright Size Life and PMG, also Watercolors.

    I though that he did a terrific job on this arrangement and performance, even better than the album version of the same tune.

    I adore that too
    he did it as an encore at a concert I was at
    It was trancendant....

    and I don't love everything he's done by any means

    but he's a great straight ahead changes player
    He played a standard , Alone Together or similar ....
    and absolutely killed it stone dead , mashed it
    wonderful

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I am a huge fan of the old jazz greats: Django, Wes, Grant Green, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, George Benson, Kenny Burrel, Barney Kessel etc. They all have that funky, bluesy, jazzy guitar style that I love. However, for some reason I just can't get into Pat Metheny. I hear everybody talk about how great he is.
    Well he is great, and always was. And the players that you listed are the classics of jazz guitar, no doubt.

    The thing is, the baby boomers felt the need to move forward. They grew up on rock, they heard/saw/contributed to what Miles started with his "Directions In Music".

    McLaughlin said something to the effect of "we can't just stay frozen in the 60s" (something like that). To me, that's a big pointer at Wes. Wes and Joe (and a few others) really took that style of straight-ahead jazz guitar to its zenith, did they not?

    My final, and politically incorrect, point/observation on this topic. Can white players ever really sound like black players? The closer they get, the more forced and disingenuous they sound, or so it seems to me.

    So what's a white, baby boomer or later, jazz guitarist to do? Strike out on something new, or try to ape Wes for the whole of their lives?

  14. #13

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    He definitely has some stuff I don't care for... the PMG material, pretty much anything with Lyle Mays on it. And I agree, the synth guitar stuff is pretty cheesy (never liked when Holdsworth did it, either).

    There's also the fact that he casts a long shadow over jazz guitarists after 1980 or so, and we're on the third generation (give or take) of guitarists whose sound can largely be traced back to him. It's not an exaggeration that a huge part of my aesthetic and approach to the instrument has been a conscious avoidance of his influence.

    All that said... he's just too good. The trios he's put together, from the first Jaco/Moses one to the present day, are almost all universally great. For every PMG album, he put out a record with absolute top-tier players like Haden, DeJohnette, Roy Haynes, Dave Holland, etc. The album with Ornette is great. And so help me, every other recording of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint I've heard just sounds sterile.

    The reality is that the guitar has been a second-rate instrument for most of jazz's history. You can tell how non-guitarists thought of a player by the calibre of musicians that would play with them. Wes, Benson, Grant Green, Jim Hall helped make it more respectable. Metheny (and Scofield... and Frisell...) is a pretty big part of that story, too.

  15. #14

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    I hate to say it but I never liked him, except maybe on Joni Mitchell's Shadows in Light double live lp w/Jaco, Brecker et all, where he played sparingly.
    That said some of my friends who I believe have excellent taste love him.
    As a matter of fact I really don't like Kurt or his disciples either. People tell me to check out this guy or that guy, but they mostly bore me to tears, the 'new' school of players don't interest me at all. None of these guys swing, they kinda all sound the same to me.
    I think the last crop I liked was Bernstein, Cohn, Cherry, Malone, etc, and they're really not innovators and not exactly young at this point. But they swing.

    "McLaughlin said something to the effect of "we can't just stay frozen in the 60s" (something like that). To me, that's a big pointer at Wes. Wes and Joe (and a few others) really took that style of straight-ahead jazz guitar to its zenith, did they not?'


    Different cats that I like playing straight ahead still keep me interested, it's not so much the style but the individuality within the style I dig. If that makes me closed minded or stuck in the past, so be it, I can live w/ that.
    So I guess I'm going to have to say I'm going to die frozen [btw, never cared for McLauglin either]

  16. #15

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    It's fair to say that Metheny isn't exactly stuck on the blues.

    TBH - I tend to like blues more than any other song form (jazz/blues that is). I never really get tired of it, as long as the tune is great and the players play well.

  17. #16

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    You don't like Pat Metheny? You will make a lot of friends here!

    Envoyé de mon SM-G930F en utilisant Tapatalk

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
    I don't really get him either, and I'm also not altogether sure why.

    My favourite of his albums is "Question and Answer", more or less a straight ahead trio set. But it's just an enjoyable album, not something that's going to make my "favourite albums of all time" list. I like bits and pieces of his other stuff, but none of it blows me away.

    I've seen him live a few times, and always find my attention wandering. I can appreciate the skill, but he somehow fails to engage.

    Oddly enough I massively prefer many players supposedly heavily influenced by Metheny, particularly Rosenwinkel but also guys like Ben Monder and Matthew Stevens. Having sat virtually unmoved through Metheney's set 4 or 5 times I've saw Rosenwinkel once thought it was mind-blowingly good, one of the best concerts I've heard.

    It's got nothing to do with his personality: he doesn't strike me as particularly likeable, but that's true of so many of my musical heroes. You have to separate the man from the work.
    I basically am of the same mind, but there was one tune (in a 3 hour concert) that I heard Pat do live that was real improvisational jazz, not heavily arranged stuff with keys pads and so on, and it was up there with the time I heard Kurt in a cramped little club.

    Everyone else went to the bar and came back for the PMG stuff.

    If Pat had carried on doing that kind of stuff I doubt he would have had the same success. I think he would have been a guy on the scene, playing with great musicians, but not a star with cross over appeal. His music hit a resonance with so many people, but I just want to hear the guy blow.

    But I’m just a basic bitch jazz guitarist lol.

  19. #18

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    I don’t like the Pat Metheny Group stuff much. I prefer the trios etc.

    Question and Answer is probably the one I like most. It’s worth listening to just for Roy Haynes’ drumming, which dominates the album anyway!


  20. #19

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    Lot of people seem to be talking about Pat Metheny the song writer, not Pat Metheny the guitarist. His music definitely has a certain "vibe", but as a guitarist, it's pretty indisputable - he's one of the best. You need to listen to his time feel and articulation. The way Pat plays ahead and behind the beat is second to none. I can't name a single guitarist that does it as well as he does. As for articulation... well just listen to how he plays the head to "How Insensitive" (around 1:21)
    I'd recommend checking out his straight ahead stuff if you're not into his music, but yeah, he's a giant.

  21. #20

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    Pat Metheny is definitely one of the best composers and guitarists on this planet. In terms of musical quality generally speaking he doesn’t differ much from other musicians though. Some of his materials are great, some are mediocre and some are terrible. That’s how it is and should be, we can’t be perfect musicians. We must have our dips in creativity and expression.

    In my opinion, the ECM albums are the best productions in Metheny’s music catalogue. If I want a real listening experience the earliest PMG and solo albums from ECM are perfect choices. There’s nothing wrong about his later productions, but I feel they’re better suited as background music than ”intensive-jazz-listening” albums. I’ve no problem at all with ambient and new-age music in general, but I think there are far more better ambient and new-age guitarists than Metheny.
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 09-12-2019 at 07:50 AM.
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by powersurge View Post
    Lot of people seem to be talking about Pat Metheny the song writer, not Pat Metheny the guitarist. His music definitely has a certain "vibe", but as a guitarist, it's pretty indisputable - he's one of the best. You need to listen to his time feel and articulation. The way Pat plays ahead and behind the beat is second to none. I can't name a single guitarist that does it as well as he does. As for articulation... well just listen to how he plays the head to "How Insensitive" (around 1:21)
    I'd recommend checking out his straight ahead stuff if you're not into his music, but yeah, he's a giant.
    Hey! I was!

    Not my favourite straightahead dude.... but.... how many people are instantly recognisable from note 1?

    I hear his playing in a straightahead context as a uniquely guitaristic take on bop. It’s not like classical bop, but it’s his own take. Very slippery....

  23. #22

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    I've been a Metheny fan since, when was it, I'd guess about 1980 when I saw him in concert. My favorite concert of all time.

    Even though I'm not a Kenny G fan, I found Metheny's bullying of him disgusting.

    This just trancends, high level stuff, his own vocabulary...

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  24. #23

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    I wish there’ll be more duet recordings with Pat Metheny in the future. We need more guitar duets in this world!

    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  25. #24

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    I agree with the OP. Mr. Metheny for me goes into the "admire but don't enjoy" category, along with many other players with genius skills. I could keep listening to him, trying to understand. Or I could listen to Wes or Bird for the millionth time and have fun, along with my intellectual/musical experience.

    Also I agree that his putdown of Kenny G for releasing a G-plus-Satchmo recording of "Wonderful World" was justified, but way over the top, like squashing a mosquito with a sledgehammer.

  26. #25

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    You certainly don't have to like Pat.

    It does seem to me that all of the other guys you dig have a lot in common. I'd say if you'd like to get in to Pat, try listening to a lot of players outside of your comfort zone, not just one. Something might click down the line, and eventually turn you back towards hearing Metheny in a new light.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Well he is great, and always was. And the players that you listed are the classics of jazz guitar, no doubt.

    The thing is, the baby boomers felt the need to move forward. They grew up on rock, they heard/saw/contributed to what Miles started with his "Directions In Music".

    McLaughlin said something to the effect of "we can't just stay frozen in the 60s" (something like that). To me, that's a big pointer at Wes. Wes and Joe (and a few others) really took that style of straight-ahead jazz guitar to its zenith, did they not?

    My final, and politically incorrect, point/observation on this topic. Can white players ever really sound like black players? The closer they get, the more forced and disingenuous they sound, or so it seems to me.

    So what's a white, baby boomer or later, jazz guitarist to do? Strike out on something new, or try to ape Wes for the whole of their lives?
    I worry about attributing musical features directly to race. Hard to walk the line between historical sensitivity and ethnic stereotyping.

    As to the final question, it's easy to answer, hard to do: Play what you love. Play what you'll never by happy if you don't. Let the name callers and haters do whatever they do. Just play the music your heart needs to play.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  28. #27

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    Pat Metheny has been a massive inspiration to me. Unlike many here, it was his music that led me to discover Wes and Grant, and further back in time - Charlie and Oscar - and from there, to explore jazz music that didn't necessarily feature the guitar. I appreciate most of Pat's music, including what he did with chorus, delay, and even the Roland. His most recent recordings with Unity Band and Unity Group are some of my favorites and show that he is continuing to create and challenge himself and others around him (see the interview with Chris Potter about the UB/UG tours).

    He seems to have reached a point where he wants to give back, too. What he's doing on this current tour, showcasing young talent, is one example. I understand that he has been hosting contemporary, perhaps lesser known, jazz guitarists at his home to break bread, to share experiences and play music together. To me, there is no question that he earned the recognition by the NEA as a Jazz Master a long time ago.

    That said, there are jazz guitarists that I can't get into, though I may have gone to their shows and listened to their recordings. That doesn't diminish their stature in the music world, nor does it mean that I don't respect their work. All it means is that I won't invest my time listening to them (unless my musical tastes change, and they do).

  29. #28

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    Yeah, it's his articulation that blows me away. No one sounds like him and he doesn't sound like "anything" or "anyone" - it's really a stand alone thing. He's definitely very bop-based, but he also has a very distinct sense of melodicism that is once again, his own thing. Let's not forget to mention that the guy is a killer musician in general. He wrote the set piece for this past years GFA competition (one, if not THE biggest classical guitar competition in the world), and it's an incredible piece. I'm a composer who comes from a classical guitar background so I'm pretty picky about classical guitar rep, but he really nailed it.

  30. #29
    Whoa thanks a lot for all the replies. Didn' expect that haha.

    Looking back at my post I sounded a bit harsh. Don't get me wrong, I fully agree that Pat Metheny is an amazing musican. No doubt about that. I also have nothing but respect for him. If you read that he was giving 180-250 shows per year, thats insane! I also really love that audio recording of Pat giving someone a guitar lesson. Some insightful stuff!

    Last few days I've been listening to Pat. I quite like the song Bright Sized Life. Also really love that version of "I Love Her", sounds beautiful. His acoustic interpretation of Girl From Ipanema however.... Its completely lost on me.

    I will make a playlist of all the suggestions you guys posted!

    Thanks!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    I strongly prefer his earlier stuff with the Pat Metheny Group . . . So maybe try listening to the first Pat Metheny Group album, which is just called "The Pat Metheny Group" and the next one which is called "American Garage." I don't particularly care for his first big splash which was "Bright Size Life" . . . I have talked to a lot of jazz fans over the years, however, who feel exactly the opposite.
    Speaking. I loved "Bright Size Life," felt that the first few PMG records didn't reach its level and that Pat started to really find himself as a grownup with "80/81."



    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I've ALWAYS prefered him as a sideman. . . .
    No argument and great choices. For my ear, let's get gritty with Metheny, MBrecker, Larry Goldings and that man, Elvin Jones:
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  32. #31

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    I think Pat is one of the best. Not the PMG stuff, never really liked it that much. But, like Christian said, there is sideman's work, or collaborations.

    My absolute favorite, I Can See Your House From Here album with Sco. All fantastic tunes, playing, vibe, etc.

    Listen to this one, it's soo good, and I'm not a ballad kinda guy at all.


  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Hey! I was!

    Not my favourite straightahead dude.... but.... how many people are instantly recognisable from note 1?

    I hear his playing in a straightahead context as a uniquely guitaristic take on bop. It’s not like classical bop, but it’s his own take. Very slippery....
    Like you I like Pat as a sideman since those recordings are typically in a straightahead context.

    E.g. This 1999 release of Michael Brecker with first-rate sidemen like Pat, and Larry Goldings.


  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    I first saw him in a college gym in Decorah IA in 1981. They loaded in their equipment, they played the gig, they loaded out their equipment, got in the van and drove away. The next time I saw him was two or three years later at the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, so he had moved up a bit, and while he can fill large venues and festivals he still does some club gigs such as playing at the Dakota. He was just there with one of his projects called Side Eye last week.
    You were in Decorah? I LOVE Decorah. Mabe's Pizza--amiright??

    I worked there quite a bit--lived upstream in La Crosse a long time--and my sister lived there awhile. Really neat town with great scenery and especially trout fishing.

    I like the Cities too--spend a fair amount of time there as we have relatives in the area. Surprisingly I have NEVER been to the Dakota, but I have been to First Avenue.

    Re' Metheny--I used to love him a huge amount, in fact he was one of the reasons I got a 175 back in the early 80's. Nowadays I don't keep up with him so much. I agree I like the first decade or so of music very much, the latter stuff is usually good, with a few things that don't excite me much. I have seen him a couple of times in Atlanta. Great shows.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  35. #34

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    I always liked Pat’s version of Horace Silver’s ‘Lonely Woman’:


  36. #35

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    What's not to like about this?:


  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    ...Am I tone deaf? Am I not smart/deep enough?...
    (just for the record: I did not listen PM since at least 5 years, and do no plan to listen in the near future, keep reading)

    If anyone stamps you "tone deaf" or not "smart/deep enough" just because you do not like PM, then that's a sure signal to close that conversation with that person, or at least close the conversation on topic PM with her/him. But I think your question is more rhetoric than real life, as the Orwell like "jazz police" idea of yours also.

    ***

    Personality does not play. If we would rule out all artists from human history who were terrible person, then we successfully erased half of human culture.

    ***

    Not liking PM is one thing but concluding he is similar Kenny G is a whole different thing. With this conclusion you are gambling to get a real life "yes" answer to your rhetoric questions, where you supposedly sure bet a supportive loud No No No answer. It is always better to know your subject, it really helps :-)

    ***

    On knowing your subject I mean the following. Know this recordings, listen those at least a few times, if you can not enjoy PM, then listen his partners, they are all in the most respected artists on their instruments:

    - Bright Size Life is on many 100 most important Jazz recording list. (Jaco! (no words necessary), but Bob Moses contributes also, listening just the drum track of Bob Moses worth the time.
    - Listen 80/81 with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Brecker and DeJohnette.
    - Rejoicing (again, if you can not stand PM, then listen Haden and Billy Higgins. Listening just those two guys on the album 5 times worth more than 1 year jazz book reading.
    - Question and Answer (Solar, ATTYA, Old Folks(!))
    - Trio 99-00
    - Day Trip (if you have no time, then start with Calvin's Keys)

    Those six recordings could be a work of life for others.
    You wrote "can't get". You can not get anything for free. You must pay the price..., this case your time. You may still end not liking PM as me, but surely will not think he is like Kenny G.

  38. #37

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    Yeah the Kenny G thing? I think that’s a reaction to the texture and production of the music. I used to find it really hard to listen to Weather Report cos of all the synths. I kind of got through it in the end.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Yeah the Kenny G thing? I think that’s a reaction to the texture and production of the music. I used to find it really hard to listen to Weather Report cos of all the synths. I kind of got through it in the end.
    No comparison between Kenny G and "smooth jazz" synths in general, and Joe Zawinul.

    Zawinul was a virtuoso of the synth. One of THE best multikeyboardists of all time.

    I burned out on synths in the 80's--can't stand to listen to much of that stuff now. But Weather Report...every sound is a revelation, including the synths.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  40. #39

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    I think there are basically all possible opinions on this thread. I'll add mine: I love the PMG, it's by far my favorite Pat Metheny stuff.

    Some of my first exposure to jazz guitar was the trio album with Roy Haynes and Dave Holland, Roy has been my favorite drummer ever since then. It's probably some of my least favorite of Pat's playing on that record, it's fine, virtuosic Pat, but not that memorable. "old folks" is kind of a highlight for me.

    The thing I love about the PMG is the composing: larger song structures, with harmonically distinct solo sections, modulations, all that. The albums with Pedro Aznar are my favorite, I really love these. In some ways, I feel like the PMG sets up Pat's guitar style perfectly, they have an absolute commitment to melody, and when Pat solos it's just incredible. With smaller group stuff, it occasionally just feels like too much guitar to me. As a guitarist, of course I'm aghast at how well Pat plays, but as a listener, it's a bit too guitar-centric for me honestly.

    I also feel like some of Pat's solos on PMG recordings are some of his most well-architected musical statements, listen to his solo on "James" from Offramp, it's a perfect musical statement that builds to a wonderful climax.

    For me, this is the PMG at their peak:



    Pedro Aznar, what a talent!

  41. #40

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    I bought my first ridiculous pair of headphones and randomly put on Beyond the Missouri sky. And didn't dislike Metheny anymore

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    I think there are basically all possible opinions on this thread. I'll add mine: I love the PMG, it's by far my favorite Pat Metheny stuff.

    Some of my first exposure to jazz guitar was the trio album with Roy Haynes and Dave Holland, Roy has been my favorite drummer ever since then. It's probably some of my least favorite of Pat's playing on that record, it's fine, virtuosic Pat, but not that memorable. "old folks" is kind of a highlight for me.

    The thing I love about the PMG is the composing: larger song structures, with harmonically distinct solo sections, modulations, all that. The albums with Pedro Aznar are my favorite, I really love these. In some ways, I feel like the PMG sets up Pat's guitar style perfectly, they have an absolute commitment to melody, and when Pat solos it's just incredible. With smaller group stuff, it occasionally just feels like too much guitar to me. As a guitarist, of course I'm aghast at how well Pat plays, but as a listener, it's a bit too guitar-centric for me honestly.

    I also feel like some of Pat's solos on PMG recordings are some of his most well-architected musical statements, listen to his solo on "James" from Offramp, it's a perfect musical statement that builds to a wonderful climax.

    For me, this is the PMG at their peak:



    Pedro Aznar, what a talent!
    Oh yeah. For me, that's quintessential Metheny! This one two, for me, is everything I love about PMG.

    Also, two words: Antonio Sanchez

    Also... at about 12:00 in this, the drama and culmination of the piece almost moves me to tears. It's almost unbearably moving.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  43. #42

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    Pat has one of the most important hallmarks a jazz musician can bring to the table...his own personal voice. You can tell it's him in about 3 seconds...

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I bought my first ridiculous pair of headphones and randomly put on Beyond the Missouri sky. And didn't dislike Metheny anymore
    I think Pat Metheny have influenced me much more as an acoustic guitarist and composer than an electric guitarist. Even if much of his later productions with PMG doesn’t impress me that much, the acoustic albums are still made of high aesthetic quality. ”A Map Of The World” and ”Beyond The Missouri Sky” are in my opinion two of the best albums Metheny have released since the ECM period. As already mentioned earlier in this thread, I wish there’ll be more guitar duet recordings with Metheny in the future. His collaboration with Jim Hall needs a new competitor 20 years later.
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    No comparison between Kenny G and "smooth jazz" synths in general, and Joe Zawinul.

    Zawinul was a virtuoso of the synth. One of THE best multikeyboardists of all time.

    I burned out on synths in the 80's--can't stand to listen to much of that stuff now. But Weather Report...every sound is a revelation, including the synths.
    Actually I wasn’t making a comparison between WR and Kenny G, just want to clear that up quick haha

    (Although that’s probably a great way to upset fusion fans come to think of it :-))

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Pat has one of the most important hallmarks a jazz musician can bring to the table...his own personal voice. You can tell it's him in about 3 seconds...
    Less

  47. #46

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    I just want to thank everybody who contributed in this thread for speaking so eloquently on PM and why they might not like him. I've never really connected with his playing, and as much "like what you like" is a solid maxim, there is a feeling that when you're talking about the most successful and influencial player of the past 40 years, the onus is on you if you can't get into it. This thread is very enlightening and thought provoking in putting into words some of aspects I've never made entirely clear to myself.

    I suppose in my case there's something about his time feel that never sat well.

  48. #47

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    I admire his playing but I’d rather listen to mike stern or Bill frisell or Allan Holdsworth. That’s just me though. I find Metheny a bit sterile. But I don’t deny his talent or his passion.


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  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    can you imagine john coltrane performing in hot pants wearing a wig?

    Totally irrelevant. Metheny wears neither hot pants nor a wig.

  50. #49

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    Metheny as a guitarist is such a small part of the picture, even though he has constantly worked on his sound and concept as a player. He is a master of the studio, a great "live" producer, and a composer/arranger at the top of the heap. Not everyone should like everything, of course, and not liking Pat's work is perfectly fine, after all, we have many choices, but my collection that started so many years ago with Jim Hall's sideman (partner, actually) work with Chico, Rollins, Giuffre and Farmer and grew to include much Wes, Barney, Django, HR, Burrell, McLaughlin, Abercrombie, Stern, etc. also includes 2 dozen recordings with Metheny as leader or collaborator, and I must say his influence on my production, both live and recorded, has been very valuable. He has full control of his professional life, that's quite the rarity in our business.

  51. #50

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    Such small minds here sometimes...