Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Pat Metheny's brought a string of trios to bear on his music, none of them lasting as a touring band long enough to bring a session like Trio Live to life. As on Trio 99-00, Metheny's bandstand has Larry Grenadier and Bill... more »
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Pat Metheny's brought a string of trios to bear on his music, none of them lasting as a touring band long enough to bring a session like Trio Live to life. As on Trio 99-00, Metheny's bandstand has Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart beside him, and they burn from start to finish. Taking up 13 tunes, Metheny shows off every nuance of his talents. Stewart invokes Elvin Jones, with a lead-footed focus on tempo and a hammering power. Grenadier provides calm force, keeping time with steely firmness. Metheny is all over the map, laying back to open the session, throwing off torrents of modulated guitar synth on a 19-minute "Question and Answer" and then diving laconically into one of jazz's least laconic pieces, John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." He's granite thick on the rocking "Faith Healer" and gently harplike on "Into the Dream," grooving steadily in between. All the while, the audience is hyped and involved. The trio has chemistry like Keith Jarrett's standards project, with each member providing texture and finishing each other's musical thoughts telepathically. This you can hear on familiar tunes, as well as on 35 minutes of new material rounding out the second disc. --Andrew Bartlett
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Christian Justin Shearn | Vestal, NY USA | 12/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you think it can't get any better, it does. After the release of the excellent "Trio 99-->00" rumors circulated of a Pat Metheny Trio recording of his tour with Larry Grenadier on bass, and Bill Stewart on drums. Our prayers have been answered, and we get a wonderful 2 CD package, "Trio--> Live" taken from Metheny's tour of the US, Europe, and Japan. Disc 1 starts out with a nice reworking of Pat's classic "Bright Size Life" featuring a nimble, quick fingered solo from him, and impeccable rhythm work from Grenadier and Stewart. Next is one of the highlights of the entire album, an incredible nearly 20 minute version of Pat's "Question and Answer". The tune starts out with a relaxed bluesy solo from Metheny on his regular Ibanez "Pat Metheny" model electric, followed by a bass solo, and a spectacular solo from Bill Stewart, showing some Elvin Jones like circular rhythms, all the while showing great originality and authority of his own. He is one of the top drummers on the scene today and a force to be reckoned with. Then comes the coup de grace: Pat whips out the guitar synth for a literally torching solo with Stewart upping the ante to a inhumanly possible degree. I've never heard Pat generate this much heat from his Roland GR300 on record, and he slowly lets us down from this tremendous orgiastic,(for lack of a better term) roller coaster ride with a gradually fading ending to the much enthusiastic audience approval. Among other highlights on disc 1 are a very cool, lightly swinging and rhythmically interesting interpretation of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps", and a beautiful rendition of "Into The Dream" on the 42 string Pikasso guitar. This piece has come a long way from it's first version on "Imaginary Day" and it beautifully segues into a wonderful trio arrangement of the PMG classic "So May it Secretly Begin". Two tunes are the major talk of disc 2: an 18 minute avant garde exploration called "Faith Healer", and a bizarre 12 string guitar blues called "Counting Texas". "Faith Healer" features some searing guitar work from Pat, and his Roland VG 8 pick up(by way of his Synclavier guitar) finds him, along with Grenadier and Stewart creating very thick textures, and colors, rather than a song per se. Pat's mindblowing work on this track goes from welding tool like scrapes, to flat out thrashing noise that ranks up there with any hardcore/metal bands out there. From Pat's primal phrasing to Larry's bee like buzzing using a bow and Bill's tumbling, sprawling drums "Faith Healer" brings to mind a war, a struggle for survival, a megalomaniac bringing down the world to it's knees in an apocalypse. The tune features a rare semi quiet moment when Pat switches to the GR300 for a solo reminiscent of something from "Offramp". And finally, for a closer, Pat and company play a freaky tune called "Counting Texas" which features him playing a processed fretless 12 string guitar sounding something not unlike a drunk Country and Western guitarist, as well as great tradeoffs between Larry and Bill. Special mention has to go to engineer David Oakes for his superb job on the sound for these live recordings, making you feel like you are there. Catching every nuance of the small clubs and theatres. Also PMG bassist Steve Rodby did some seamless work digitally assembling and editing the pieces from different venues together to form a continuous performance. No decrease in sound quality, strange fluctuations in pitch or anything of that nature here. I love Pat's straight ahead, and Group projects, but this album is not for everyone. Some fans of the PMG may be scared off by the rawness of this record, as well as some of the more adventurous stuff like "Faith Healer", and some long time fans of his straight ahead work might be put off by the last two tunes. Overall, this is a brilliant document in the ever changing musical life of Pat Metheny. His playing is hotter and more inventive here than in anything he's recorded under his own name recently, and he has a first rate trio of players in Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart. Let's hope they get back together again in a few years for another great recording.Pat Metheny(acoustic, electric guitars, guitar synth, 42 string Pikasso guitar,12 string fretless guitar) Larry Grenadier(bass) Bill Stewart(drums)*note, Carolyn Chrzan, Pat's guitar technician strums a few notes on the Pikasso, slightly hidden on stage at the end of "So May it Secretly Begin""
The best never forgets its roots
Julius Kusuma | Cambridge, MA, USA | 11/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pat Metheny has been playing music for many years, in various settings across many different spectrums of music, such as his famous Pat Metheny Group's world music-inspired polyrythmic compositions, his stint with the ECM gang of the 80's, and his more recent release of sparse, beautifully composed music in a duo with Charlie Haden.But in every setting he has played in, he is always rooted in jazz. Recently he has been playing with an excellent trio, which includes Larry Grenadier on bass and Bill Stewart on the drums. While the fans on his Pat Metheny Group days may disagree, I think his latest work is one of his best yet: a romantic comeback to his very early days of "Bright Size Life" mixed in with his postbop trio compositions of "Question and Answer" and bringing back a fresh look at the Coltrane standard "Giant Steps".Pat Metheny is best appreciated live: which makes this a great venue to listen to his amazing talents. The opening track "Bright Size Life" shows how his playing has gotten better over the past decades between his first album and of this latest offering. Larry Grenadier's bold, funky bass lines is a great complement to Pat Metheny's explosive guitar solos, and Bill Stewart's witty drumming rounds up the talent showcased here.This album is a very sophisticated yet accessible postbop offering. There are a few new compositions, such as the avant garde-ish "Faith Healer" and old favourites, "Question and Answer" and "So May It Secretly Begin". There's plenty for everybody, from complete strangers to faithful fans from the yesteryears. Can't wait for the next opportunity to see him live!"
Prepare thyself for a (near) miracle
Douglas Groothuis | 11/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I reserve the term "miracle" for what is properly considered supernatural--an act of divine intervention such as a resurrection from the dead. However, I'm tempted to apply the term in a loosely emotive and aesthetic sense to these superlative live trio performances. Pat Metheny started out very good twenty-five years ago, and he just keeps improving... There is so much music in this soul.Pat has always radiated improvisational and interactive excellence in trio settings, but he takes it even another notch higher here. The chemistry (or, better: alchemy) of these performances comes both from the virtuosity of the players and from their working together for over a year. Pat's previous trio recordings have not been born of that matrix. ("Question and Answer"--great at it is--was a one-day gig.)The group covers Pat's entire career--from the Pat Metheny Group standards, to two cuts from "Pat Metheny Trio 99-00," to free-jazz reminiscent of what he did with Ornette Coleman ("Song X"). "Faith Healer" is an 18-minute "outside" piece featuring quick, tight ensemble work; at least three changes of mood; and open-ended, hard-edged guitar-synthesizer work. Those who only like the PMG material may skip over this, but not me!The most surprising cut was a new 20-minute version of "Question and Answer," which features a statement of the theme, a solo by Pat on electric guitar, then solos by acoustic bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart. After this, the band ascends into the stratosphere as Pat switches to guitar-synthesizer. (Few people play this instrument, and no one but Pat has mastered its expressive possibilities.) The level of intensity and emotion--especially generated by the interplay of Stewart and Pat--is enough to bring tears to your eyes or goosebumps to your flesh (or both). Amazingly, after a frenzied pitch of wild, but tight crescendos...it all calms down and ends in a whisper.There are also more mellow numbers, some with acoustic guitar. Pat plays his specially-made 42-string instrument to great effect, as well as a 12-string, fretless guitar on the inimitable "Counting Texas"--something totally unlike anything Pat has done (to my knowledge).So much more could be said, but I'll end with this: Pat, thank you for all the beautiful music you have given us throughout the years. I hope you know from whence this gift of yours came.Douglas Groothuis"