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Pat Metheny

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Pat Metheny Group - Pat Metheny Group [ECM Records ECM 1114] (1978)

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Artist:

Pat Metheny Group

Title:

Pat Metheny Group

Released: 1978
Label: ECM Records
Catalog: ECM 1114
Genre: Jazz / Fusion


T R A C K L I S T:
01 San Lorenzo
02 Phase Dance
03 Jaco
04 Aprilwind
05 April Joy
06 Lone Jack
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Album Review

Pat Metheny Group is the first album by the Pat Metheny Group, released in 1978. It features Pat Metheny on guitars, Lyle Mays on piano and synthesizer, Mark Egan on electric bass, and Danny Gottlieb on drums.

Many elements that became defining traits of the band's overall sound were in place on the first album, namely Metheny's incorporation of several different guitars and Mays's fusion of electronic and acoustic keyboards to create a fuller, more harmonically sophisticated foundation for the melodies and solos. This is particularly evidenced on the track, ''Phase Dance'', where Metheny introduces the main melody on an acoustic guitar and then switches to an electric to play one of the improvisational solos, with Mays providing the foundation on keyboards before playing the other solo. ''Phase Dance'' quickly became a signature song for the Group, most often played in concert as an introductory piece.


Pat Metheny - New Chautauqua [ECM Records ECM-1-1131] (1979)

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Artist:

Pat Metheny

Title:

New Chautauqua

Released: 1979
Label: ECM Records
Catalog: ECM-1-1131
Genre: Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01 New Chautauqua
02 Country Poem
03 Long-Ago Child / Fallen Star
04 Hermitage
05 Sueño Con Mexico
06 Daybreak
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Album Review

New Chautauqua is a studio album by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. It was released in 1979. [wikipedia.org]


Pat Metheny Group - American Garage [ECM Records ECM 1155] (1979)

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Artist:

Pat Metheny Group

Title:

American Garage

Released: 1979
Label: ECM Records
Catalog: ECM 1155
Genre: Fusion / Contemporary Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01 (Cross The) Heartland
02 Airstream
03 The Search
04 American Garage
05 The Epic
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Album Review

American Garage is the second album by the Pat Metheny Group, released in 1979 on ECM Records.

The album represented the most collaborative writing session between Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays up to that point in the band's history. According to Metheny, this yielded mixed results. He has said that the album's second track, ''Airstream,'' is a favorite from this period. But both he and Mays have expressed less praise for the fifth and final track, ''The Epic'', which Metheny has claimed, ''is all over the map.''

American Garage marked Mays's first use of the Oberheim synthesizer, which became an integral part of the Group's sound. [wikipedia.org]


Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays - As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls [ECM ECM-1-1190] (1981)

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Artist:

Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays

Title:

As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

Released: 1981
Label: ECM
Catalog: ECM-1-1190
Genre: Jazz / Fusion
T R A C K L I S T:
01 As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
02 Ozark
03 September Fifteenth (Dedicated To Bill Evans)
04 "It's For You"
05 Estupenda Graca
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Album Review

by Stephen Cook [allmusic.com]

The regrettable title aside, this joint solo effort by Metheny and regular pianist and collaborator Lyle Mays is an impressive outing. In the process of stretching out away from the confines of the quartet setting of prior albums, Metheny and Mays presage the sleeker and more ethereal sound of the band's Geffen years on portions of the title track. And while this side-long number has some dreamy moments, it also bogs down in a trite climax or two; one gets the sense of a jazz fusion and prog rock marriage Metheny luckily never fully explored. Minor flaws, really, since the piece holds together in spite of the worrisome lapses of taste. The balance of the album is just fine, with the highlight being the Bill Evans remembrance, "September Fifteenth" (the date of Evan's passing, which occurred while the album was being recorded). Metheny and Mays appropriately opt for a serene and slightly elegiac piano and acoustic guitar duet. The set is balanced out by the fleet Americana of "Ozark" and the streamlined swinger "It's for You." Topped off by integral and tasteful percussion by future band regular Nana Vasconcelos, this 1981 Metheny date is certainly a worthwhile disc for fans to seek out, while not being essential.


Pat Metheny Group - Offramp [ECM Records ECM-1-1216] (1982)

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Artist:

Pat Metheny Group

Title:

Offramp

Released: 1982
Label: ECM Records
Catalog: ECM-1-1216
Genre: Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Barcarole
02 Are You Going With Me?
03 Au Lait
04 Eighteen
05 Offramp
06 James
07 The Bat Part II
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Album Review

Offramp is the third album by the Pat Metheny Group, released in 1982. It won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. It contains the popular ballad ''Are You Going With Me?''.

Offramp is the first studio album on which Metheny used a guitar synthesizer, a Roland GR-300 controlled with a Roland G-303 guitar synthesiser controller. The guitar synthesizer became one of Metheny's most frequently used instruments.

Offramp is also the first Group album to feature vocals, which became a fundamental component of the band's sound. When Metheny and Lyle Mays partnered with Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos on the album, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, they sought to expand the potential of the recording studio as an ensemble instrument and experiment with sounds they hadn't previously utilized. Some of the innovations introduced on Wichita carried over into Offramp, namely Vasconcelos's vocals and percussion stylings.

Bassist Mark Egan was replaced by Steve Rodby, who remained with the Group well into the 2000s and became an important partner in the compositional and production processes between Metheny and Mays.

The Group pays tribute to one of Metheny's biggest influences, pioneering free jazz instrumentalist Ornette Coleman, on the title track, and singer-songwriter James Taylor served as the inspiration for the sixth track, ''James.'' [wikipedia.org]


Pat Metheny Group - Letter From Home [Geffen Records GHS 24245] (1989)

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Artist:

Pat Metheny Group

Title:

Letter From Home

Released: 1989
Label: Geffen Records
Catalog: GHS 24245
Genre: Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Have You Heard
02 Every Summer Night
03 Better Days Ahead
04 Spring Ain't Here
05 45/8
06 5-5-7
07 Beat 70
08 Dream Of The Return
09 Are We There Yet
10 Vidala
11 Slip Away
12 Letter From Home
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Album Review

Letter from Home is an album by the Pat Metheny Group, released in 1989 by Geffen Records. In 1990, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. It was certified gold by the RIAA on July 23, 1998.

The album marked the return of Pedro Aznar, who became a member of the Group on the album First Circle. It also featured a reemphasis on increased instrumental diversity and was a huge commercial success, comfortably making the Top 200 album chart at Billboard magazine. ''Slip Away'' was, as Metheny put it, ''extraordinarily successful, one of the most successful individual tunes that we've ever made.'' He said that it contains an ideal melodic durability.

Pat Metheny's Biography

by Scott Yanow [allmusic.com]

One of the most original guitarists from the '80s onward (he is instantly recognizable), Pat Metheny is a chance-taking player who has gained great popularity but also taken some wild left turns. His records with the Pat Metheny Group are difficult to describe (folk-jazz? mood music?) but managed to be both accessible and original, stretching the boundaries of jazz and making Metheny famous enough that he could perform whatever type of music he wanted without losing his audience.

Metheny (whose older brother is the trumpeter Mike Metheny) started on guitar when he was 13. His talent developed quickly, he taught at both the University of Miami and Berklee while he was a teenager, and made his recording debut with Paul Bley and Jaco Pastorius in 1974. He spent an important period (1974-1977) with Gary Burton's group, met keyboardist Lyle Mays, and in 1978 formed his group, which originally featured Mays, bassist Mark Egan, and drummer Dan Gottlieb. Within a short period he was ECM's top artist and one of the most popular of all jazzmen, selling out stadiums. Metheny mostly avoided playing predictable music, and his freelance projects were always quite interesting. His 1980 album 80/81 featured Dewey Redman and Mike Brecker in a post-bop quintet; he teamed up with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins on a trio date in 1983; and two years later recorded the very outside Song X with Ornette Coleman. Metheny's other projects away from the group have included a sideman recording with Sonny Rollins; a 1990 tour with Herbie Hancock in a quartet; a trio album with Dave Holland and Roy Haynes; and a collaboration (and tour) with Joshua Redman.

Although his 1994 recording Zero Tolerance for Silence baffled his audience, Metheny retained his popularity as a consistently creative performer. In addition to recording for ECM, he has appeared as a leader on the Geffen, Warner Bros., and Nonesuch labels. Metheny has remained active in the 21st century, releasing Speaking of Now in 2002, the acoustic solo album One Quiet Night in 2003, Way Up in 2005, and Metheny Mehldau in 2006. Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau returned to the studio the following year for Quartet. Metheny released the trio album Day Trip in 2008. Orchestrion, which featured a solo Metheny playing several acoustic instruments designed and built for him by Eric Singer, appeared from Nonesuch early in 2010. Metheny released What's It All About, in June of 2011, his second solo acoustic guitar recording. Unlike any other entry in his large catalog, the set was comprised entirely of covers of pop songs by contemporary songwriters (from Paul Simon and Lennon and McCartney to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Burt Bacharach, and Hal David) that that have continued to hold meaning for him throughout his career.
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