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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny w/ Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins: Rejoicing CD (album) cover

PAT METHENY W/ CHARLIE HADEN & BILLY HIGGINS: REJOICING

Pat Metheny

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.49 | 22 ratings

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Walkscore
5 stars This is one of the gems of Pat Metheny's vast catalogue, and really overlooked here on PA. A one-off trio with legendary jazz players Billy Higgins (drums) and Charlie Haden (bass), the album covers a lot of ground, but is always excellent. And while the album starts off very straight, it is not all straight jazz. I have seen other reviewers characterize PM's music as 'safe', which is one of the adjectives that could be applied to PM but ONLY to a small minority of his very diverse catalogue. This album contains both very safe and very unsafe music. Indeed, this album develops a direct and virtually-linear musical trajectory, from some of PM's most straight jazz music to some of his most experimental music over its 44 minutes. It begins with what I think is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever put to record, "Lonely Woman" - very quiet and all acoustic, not at all progressive, but a really exquisite piece of (straight jazz) music. Over the subsequent songs PM adds electric guitars, and by Story from a Stranger has shifted to his Roland synth-guitar. The last two tunes ("The Calling" and "Waiting for an Answer") are very experimental, improvised free-jazz with crazy synth-guitar solos, bordering on fusion and are, to my mind, exemplary of my idea of progressive. These constitute one of the many examples over PM's career of a spirit of musical discovery and innovation (similar in spirit and to me even evocative of one of my favourite-ever sections of music - Mike Ratledge's fuzz-organ solo at the beginning of Facelift on Soft Machine's album 'Third'). This album is thus not, as a whole, safe. It is pioneering - music for music's sake. It is a musical journey. You can't listen to just the first few tunes of this album and understand it - you need to sit out the whole thing. This is one of the albums I keep coming back to for inspiration (including music inspiration - I also compose music). It is not perfect, and some probably will just not like the free jazz at the end (or the straight jazz at the beginning) but for me it is an original, truly inspiring musical statement. I give it 9.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just enough to garner a 5-star PA rating.
Walkscore | 5/5 |

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