Friday Flashback: Pat Metheny.

This is one of my all-time favorite artists. He’s one of the most unique and distinctive jazz guitarists out there. His sound is amazing, and there’s just something about the way he plucks a string that has moved me from the very first time I ever heard him.

I’m talking about the one and only…Pat Metheny.

He and his eponymously named band, the Pat Metheny Group

…are one the greatest jazz fusion combos to emerge from the late seventies.

To give you an idea of how talented this guy is, this is one of the guitars he plays.

Look at that thing. It’s called the Pikasso I and was created exclusively for him by guitar designer Linda Manzer.

It comes as no surprise that Pat’s biggest early influence was the legendary Wes Montgomery.

Pat has an incredible piano player/collaborative partner by the name of Lyle Mays.

They complement each other perfectly, creating beautifully arranged and orchestrated tunes that are individually and collectively magnificent. The two have a sort of call and response way about them, where they’ll begin a song together, Pat will take over as lead, then fall back and let Lyle lead, then the two will merge together with the rest of the band and close with an elegant flourish.

I love this particular song. It’s called “So May It Secretly Begin,” and it’s from their popular 1987 cd, Still Life (Talking)

…the one that finally saw him and the band gain broader recognition. The song has an airiness and a lush feel that simultaneously relaxes and excites me every time I hear it.

My favorite, favorite song by Pat and his crew is called “James,” from the album Offramp (circa 1981).

This song makes me giddy whenever I hear it. It’s the essence of happiness and the way music should make you feel.

Lastly, this is the song that took him and the group mainstream, also from the Still Life (Talking) cd. This tune was so damn popular when it first came out (in 1987), the grocery store chain Publix (“Where shopping is a pleasure“) was using it for their holiday commercials (Thanksgiving and Christmas). It’s called “Last Train Home” and it’s classic Pat (although the song itself is now very cliched), featuring his distinctive sound and Lyle Mays’ heavenly handiwork on the ivories. Happy Friday!!!

Pat Metheny Online
AllMusic: Lyle Mays
AllMusic: Pat Metheny Group
Amazon.com: Pat Metheny Group: Still Life (Talking)
Amazon.com: Pat Metheny Group: Offramp

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3 thoughts on “Friday Flashback: Pat Metheny.

  1. >Pat M is one of my favorites. I wrote a performance piece that was executed by the late Essex Hemphill using Last Train Home as "background." You brought back some great memories. Thanks.

    Like

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