Russell Diederich | Littleton, CO United States | 01/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What happens when you put two great jazz guitarists in the same recording studio? You get "I Can See Your House From Here". Pat Metheny and John Scofield are different enough guitarists that it really adds to the excitement of this album. Rarely, will you see two masters of the guitar appear like this without trying to upstage each other. All eleven tunes on this album are originals, each writing about half the material. This album is load with lots of great licks, and music. The title track has a good theme to it, which each guitarist takes turns exploring. It nearly crosses the line into free-jazz, and sounds a little spacey. With "The Red One" they duo is grounded with both feet firmly on the earth. Scofield steps out first to explore his vision of the song. At the halfway mark, Metheny turns on his synth and sounds like a trumpet taking the solo. The solos go back and forth for the whole album, and the guitar work is incredible. Other notables on this album are "One Way to Be", "No Matter What" and Message to My Friend". This isn't just an album of guitar. Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart join up with bass and drums respectively. Both are fine musician's and are able to provide the beat that the duo play off of. Stewart delivers an excellent drum solo on "Everybody's Party", that will have you banging the desktop or steering wheel like it was your own little drum kit. If you're a fan of either Scofield or Metheny, this is quite an album to have, and I highly recommend it."
Everything it should have been
Micah Newman | Fort Worth, TX United States | 11/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some collaborations between jazz giants seem to have been disappointing for whatever reason. John Scofield and Pat Metheny have such distinct approaches to jazz guitar, who could have foreseen what such a project would end up like? They may well have staked out their own territory at left and right speakers and just dueled off one another, but this stuff works incredibly well as a *collaboration*, a perfectly enmeshed meeting of two great minds of music (how's that for alliteration?)John and Pat take about an equal share of songwriting. Some of John's best tunes are here showcased, such as the knowing, easy swing of the title cut, the lovely ballad "No Matter What" (he can sure do those too!) and the catchy, accessible "Everybody's Party". The two of them play in unison so well, it sounds like a single guitar run through a chorus effect or something, but then one of them will snag some witty harmonic aside in there somewhere and remind you that in fact two different guitars are playing. Beautiful.Pat's placid acoustic numbers like "Message to My Friend" and "Quiet Rising" blend in the mix pretty well, and it's nice to hear Sco fitting into that context too (in fact, Amazon.com says that this recording date made Scofield finally actually buy an acoustic guitar, and the acoustic album _Quiet_ resulted a couple years later). Which is not to say that's the only thing Pat brings to the table. He rips it up in the energetic "The Red One", wherein he takes a solo with his distinctive "synth-guitar".The rhythm section of Stewart/Swallow is impeccable. I love those little Chinese cymbals Bill Stewart uses to punctuate certain songs. Bassist Steve Swallow (always choosing just the right note instead of walking his fingers off trying to find it) and Scofield have such a history, they play perfect together. Terrific album, sterling quality all around, highly recommended."
Better than I would have expected
D. Bartholome | 10/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Typically, a pairing of two powerful palyers of the same instrument are doomed from the start; either they get criticized for conducting a dual at the expense of cooperative playing or they get panned for being too timid so as not to offend the other musician. On "I Can See Your House From Here", John Scofield and Pat Metheny avoid this dilemma by performing as if they don't know it exists.This record doesn't really sound much like a classic Scofield or Metheny record, probably because they employ a 2-guitar/acoustic bass/drums setup, higly unusual for jazz. They also resist the temptation to write fluffy, catchy pop tunes in favor of songs that reveal sides to their guitar playing not typically heard on their own records (something that Larry & Lee could have learned from).The lead-off title tune is the strongest of the set, a Ornette-infuenced ditty that sounds deceptively hokey and simple at the onset, but nearly crosses the line into free jazz during the middle section; you wonder how the guitarists manage to stay on key when they stretch out during their solos. Meanwhile, Bill Stewart is meting out some fantastic licks on the drums, as he does for most of the album. The next track "The Red One", has both of them playing some countrified rock/jazz, but predictably, Pat has to inject his obigatory (and unnecessary) guitar synth solo into it. "No Matter What" introduces Sco on an acoustic guitar--Pat's--for perhaps the first time on record. "Everybody's Party" is another winner, a bouncy song containing more good riffs propelled by Stewart's drums. The last track, Scofield's "You Speak My Language" was obviously Monk-influenced and a nice, laid-back way to end the record. The songs in between are all good, but with an occasional dull spot.Steve Swallow does a fine job holding down the melody fort on bass when Sco and Pat go outside. All in all, not the most essential recording for either artist, but a lot of fun. And a little different, too."
I like it a lot
Max-Factor | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not a fan of either artist (Scofield, Metheny) or particularly fond of modern jazz. I am aware they are accomplished musicians. I always liked Metheny's "This Is Not America" with David Bowie. Several years back, I read about the audiophile qualities of this CD from an audio equipment review. I considered buying it but then was discouraged thinking it would be too abstract to hold my interest. Some of the reviews on this site were not that encouraging either. Anyway I finally bought it. All the audiophile qualities mentioned in the equipment review were spot on. This is not some ordinary modern jazz recording. Aside from the sonic qualities, I thought the performance level, the improvisations were really top notch. Each track has a unique theme and structure skillfully performed. The percussion work is really world class and I felt it really drives the whole show. If you have a system that is revealing, you are in for a treat particularly with the percussion work. The recording has stage depth, highly transparent sound. Instruments are well separated. It sounds like several microphones were used to capture the percussions. The listener can follow each instrument and it's nuances with no effort.
I wish there was little more emphasis on electric base - one of the tracks towards the end gives the listener some taste of base notes which is also tastefully done. I did not hear a single track that was a sleeper. This one is a keeper. Highly recommended."
You may wonder . . .
D. Bartholome | Highlands, TX USA | 11/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
". . . why this CD has gotten mixed reviews, and is available to buy quite cheaply (used). To put it briefly: it's not that it isn't a very good CD; it is. But it's a CD that requires patience of the listener. While you'll like some of the cuts the first time you hear them, a lot of them take a while to sink into your synapses. So, basically, it's just not as immediately accessible as much of the work by both of these artists. But given that you can get this CD for just a few dollars (if you don't mind used), it's totally worth it. No fan of either guitarist should be without this album, IMHO. (Oh, also a correction to an earlier review; someone referred to Steve Swallow's "acoustic bass guitar". It is not acoustic but the electric that he always plays.)"