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Jazz - Released May 2, 1983 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 7, 2006 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released May 3, 1982 | ECM

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Jazz - Released March 1, 1978 | ECM

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Jazz - Released May 3, 1982 | ECM

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Jazz - Released May 2, 1983 | ECM

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Jazz - Released March 1, 1978 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 12, 2002 | Warner Jazz

Speaking of Now finds guitarist Metheny leading a retooled Pat Metheny Group; in addition to longtime core members, keyboardist Lyle Mays and bassist Steve Rodby, the Group now includes drummer Antonio Sanchez, trumpeter/vocalist Cuong Vu, and Richard Bona, who's best known as a bassist, but who functions primarily as the Group's percussionist/vocalist. The result is an exquisite album that features fresh new musical perspectives while losing none of the Group's familiar wide-ranging, melodic, always accessible sound. Most of the tracks on Speaking of Now were composed by Metheny and his longtime collaborator Mays, although three tracks were composed solely by Metheny. There's a buoyant feel to this album that is not to be confused with lightness. This is complex, intricately detailed music that reveals additional layers with each listening. Metheny seems to delight in discovering the myriad means by which his prodigiously accomplished bandmembers can provide coloration to the compositions, both within the larger group and in solo spotlights. Sanchez's rhythmic agility and sensitivity is featured throughout, particularly on "The Gathering Sky," which begins as a sparkling, piano-led number and then transforms into a grooving band jam. One of the album's many solo highlights comes during "Proof," where Vu turns in a poignantly lyrical trumpet solo that is followed by an electrifying, steadily intensifying solo by Mays. Vocals have long been part of the Metheny Group sound, but now he is utilizing them in new ways; "Another Life" opens with Bona and Vu harmonizing on a chorale that leads into the artist's delicate acoustic guitar work, while Bona provides sweet vocalizing over Metheny's guitar on the beautiful, soaring "You." Every track on Speaking of Now possesses a distinct beauty and eloquence. This is a superb offering that is not to be missed. © Lucy Tauss /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 9, 2006 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released November 1, 1979 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Warner Jazz

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Jazz - Released October 1, 1984 | ECM

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Jazz - Released November 1, 1979 | ECM

The back liner photo gives the impression of a grungy Midwestern garage band, but no, that doesn't describe this sophisticated jazz-rock quartet, which was simultaneously breaking into mass-market acceptance and away from the contemplative ECM stereotype. The arrangements are more structured, the playing often more intense and searching, with a more pronounced rock influence. On the title track, Metheny digs in and displays some authoritative rock-oriented licks and intensity, and the rhythms on "The Search" have a slight, at times asymmetrical Latin feeling. The nearly 13-minute "The Epic" finds the Metheny group developing some real combustion in the improvised sections as Metheny, keyboardist Lyle Mays, bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb grow tighter as a unit. In hindsight, some of the music seems a bit too tightly conceived to allow adequate breathing room, but this is still high-quality jazz-rock for its time. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 1, 1984 | ECM

In First Circle, the Pat Metheny Group settled into a lineup that lasted for quite a while -- with Metheny, keyboardist Lyle Mays, bassist Steve Rodby, and new drummer Paul Wertico forming the core quartet. The ever-restless Metheny also mixes up the music, not quite leaving the Brazilian glide behind but coming up with some fascinating permutations always affixed with his personal stamp. "Forward March," the album opener, is a bizarre parody full of detuned instruments and half-cocked trumpet from Mays; one wonders if this was directed at a few silly skirmishes of the day (Grenada? the Falklands?). "The First Circle" has Brazilian elements, but now in the service of a grander architectural context, while nothing could be simpler and yet more sophisticated than the delicate ballad "If I Could." "End of the Game" might be the best track on the record, equipped with a beautiful pop-flavored set of tunes and harmonies, with a rock beat fused to the floating ambience of South America as personified by the new Argentine percussionist/vocalist Pedro Aznar. "Praise," the closer, is an out-and-out rock tune, an affirmative flip side of "Forward March" and the last of a series of delightful surprises. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 9, 2006 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Geffen

When Metheny celebrates his cerebral side, he usually follows up with something more accessible. After his difficult yet rewarding collaboration with John Scofield, I Can See Your House from Here, Metheny stresses accessibility with this captivating live album. The primary focus is on his Brazilian-influenced material from Still Life (Talking) and Letter from Home, and the very cohesive Pat Metheny Group offers characteristically expressive versions of such favorites as "Have You Heard," "Beat 70," and "Better Days Ahead." While he could have offered a wider variety of material and perhaps revisited some of his early gems, everything that he does include comes across as honest and heartfelt. Thankfully, Metheny's emphasis on accessibility and crowd-pleasing doesn't come at the expense of his artistic integrity. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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International Pop - Released January 24, 2005 | Nonesuch

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1985 | Capitol Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Geffen

Picking up where Still Life (Talking) leaves off (instead of throwing listeners a curve ball like Song X), the equally triumphant Letter from Home stresses Brazilian elements with superb results. While a number of these treasures -- including "Beat 70," "Have You Heard," and "Every Summer Night" -- are light and accessible enough to have enjoyed exposure on some smooth jazz stations, Letter contains the type of depth and honesty that's sorely lacking in most smooth jazz. Metheny has always known the difference between light and lightweight, and even at his most delicate, he avoids entering "Muzak" territory. True to form, the improviser doesn't shy away from making extensive use of technology, but is insightful enough to do so in a very warm and soulful fashion. Like Still Life, Letter from Home is a fine example of a CD that is both a commercial and an artistic success. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Geffen

The first Pat Metheny Group recording in five years is a bit unusual in two ways. The band uses "contemporary" pop rhythms on many of their selections but in creative ways and without watering down the popular group's musical identity. In addition Metheny for the first time in his recording career sounds a bit like his early influence Wes Montgomery on a few of the songs. With his longtime sidemen (keyboardist Lyle Mays, bassist Steve Rodby and drummer Paul Wertico) all in top form, Metheny successfully reconciles his quartet's sound with that of the pop music world, using modern technology to expand the possibilities of his own unusual vision of creative improvised music. And as a bonus, some of the melodies are catchy. © Scott Yanow /TiVo