Pat Metheny has had such an unpredictable and diverse recording career that it is somewhat surprising that he has been able to hold on to his great popularity during the past two decades.
This set with his "group," a quartet also featuring keyboardist Lyle Mays, bassist Steve Rodby, and drummer Paul Wertico, is generally quite introspective and is a bit unusual. After touring with his band for nearly a year, the guitarist decided not to record the group's current repertoire but to instead have a very spontaneous session. Metheny and Mays quickly wrote a full set of new originals (some of which were so open as to be nearly free improvisations) that emphasized their acoustic instruments and the quieter side of their musical personalities.
Although a few of the 15 songs use a light groove, many of the pieces are either slow ballads or fairly peaceful sound explorations. Whether fans of the Pat Metheny Group will enjoy the music is open to question, but jazz listeners who like to hear relaxed playing by masterful musicians (and who are patient enough to let the performances develop) will find this to be an interesting if moody release.
~ Scott Yanow, Rov
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