When Was The Last Time You Played This Album?

Pat Metheney Group “Pat Metheney Group”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is the eponymous release by “The Pat Metheny Group.”

While I don’t usually pick an artists best work for out group, this time I feel like I did.

I’d always loved Pat Metheny‘s guitar work. I was a big fan of his earlier works like ‘Bright Size Life’ and other releases, ‘New Chautauqua, Watercolors’ etc, but nothing he’s done came close to the ‘Pat Matheny Group’ record.

‘San Lorenzo’ and ‘Phase Dance’ lead the way. Possibly the two best songs Pat has ever recorded.

The band stayed in a nice groove for the next few years. “American Garage” and ”80, 81” were winners and so was the album released by Matheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays, “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls.”

Pat changed direction shortly after this. I had a chance to talk to him after hours at Summerfest in Milwaukee in 1980. He mentioned to me that he was going for a new sound. He described it to me as a cross between Ornette Coleman’s trumpet and an elephant! I think you can hear the beginnings of this sound on ‘Off-Ramp.’ He actually decribed it perfectly.

WOW, check out these live versions of ‘Phase Dance’ and ‘San Lorenzo’ that I found!


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