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Jazz - Released December 1, 1975 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
For a first attempt, it's a masterstroke! Released in 1976, Bright Size Life was Pat Metheny's first record as a leader. Just 21 years old, the American guitarist already showed a real maturity as a virtuosic composer and performer. He joined forces with Jaco Pastorius on bass and Bob Moses on a flexible and dynamic drum kit. These ideal accomplices allowed him to develop what would later become his trademark sound: a fluid and often lyrical style. The wide, open spaces of his native Midwest were reflected in his guitar playing as well as in the track titles (Missouri Uncompromised, Midwestern Nights Dream and Omaha Celebration). A great wisdom emerged from this clear and beautiful album (Jim Hall's influence is evident) which closes with Round Trip/Broadway Blues, an unexpected medley of two pieces by Ornette Coleman, one of Metheny's idols, with whom he would go on to record Song X ten years later. But underneath this calm surface, this young virtuoso wanted to change the world. He explained this in an interview with Just Jazz Guitar in 2001: “Even though Bright Size Life may not sound like it, we were pissed off. That album is a very strong political statement from us on how we felt about what our instruments needed to do to remain relevant in jazz. Listening to it now, with 25 years of perspective, I think our message got across, I believe we did change things. That album was a manifesto of some very specific things that we felt strongly about, in terms of harmony, in terms of interaction, in terms of the sound of the instruments. You have to listen to that album to hear where we were at that time.” © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released December 1, 1975 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
For a first attempt, it's a masterstroke! Released in 1976, Bright Size Life was Pat Metheny's first record as a leader. Just 21 years old, the American guitarist already showed a real maturity as a virtuosic composer and performer. He joined forces with Jaco Pastorius on bass and Bob Moses on a flexible and dynamic drum kit. These ideal accomplices allowed him to develop what would later become his trademark sound: a fluid and often lyrical style. The wide, open spaces of his native Midwest were reflected in his guitar playing as well as in the track titles (Missouri Uncompromised, Midwestern Nights Dream and Omaha Celebration). A great wisdom emerged from this clear and beautiful album (Jim Hall's influence is evident) which closes with Round Trip/Broadway Blues, an unexpected medley of two pieces by Ornette Coleman, one of Metheny's idols, with whom he would go on to record Song X ten years later. But underneath this calm surface, this young virtuoso wanted to change the world. He explained this in an interview with Just Jazz Guitar in 2001: “Even though Bright Size Life may not sound like it, we were pissed off. That album is a very strong political statement from us on how we felt about what our instruments needed to do to remain relevant in jazz. Listening to it now, with 25 years of perspective, I think our message got across, I believe we did change things. That album was a manifesto of some very specific things that we felt strongly about, in terms of harmony, in terms of interaction, in terms of the sound of the instruments. You have to listen to that album to hear where we were at that time.” © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1983 | ECM

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1981 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1980 | ECM

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In 1980, Pat Metheny had already garnered an impressive level of popularity. With sold out tours and their consequential album sales, the guitarist had imposed upon the scene a sound and style which was already being adopted by others. And under the banner of the Pat Metheny Group with Lyle Mays, Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb, this success was furthered all the more. But some of jazz’s ayatollahs were still somewhat sceptical of his youth-carried success (Metheny himself was only 25 at the time)… With 80/81, which was recorded in May 1980 under the label ECM, things were soon to change. At the long-haired guitarist’s side was Munich-based producer Manfred Eicher. Eicher had the judicious idea of uniting, in Oslo’s Talent Studios, a pianist-free group comprising of four incontestable big names: bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Jack DeJohnette and tenor saxophonists Dewey Redman and Michael Brecker. What could have been merely a flashy and pointless casting turned out to be quite the opposite! On this copious one hour and twenty minute double album that’s as electric (on the beginning and end sections of the record) as it is acoustic, Pat Metheny shows all his colours, and writes the best part of the songs himself. Most importantly, these famed sidemen are stylistically a long-shot from his usual musical compadres. And the exchanges between this most-harmonious five are incredibly inspiring. Former musicians in Keith Jarett’s 1971-1976 quartet and match made in heaven, Charlie Haden and Dewey Redman seamlessly accommodate our young guitar maestro. No shock if you are aware of the relationship Metheny and Haden, both ailing from Missouri (they would record together some years later), have for North American folkloric music which shines through on this album. DeJohnette expertly weaves in and out of this tight canvas and is a central part of 80/81. The drummer carries a voice here that succeeds in standing out whilst remaining in harmony with others. And on songs like Open it is impossible to tear away your ear for even a second from the magical sound of his drumsticks. Finally, the saxophonists voices are opposing yet succeed in cementing their own place (Brecker is on fire on the opening of Two Folk Songs and Redman playful on his solo in Pretty Scattered). A double album which, as the years go by and after multiple listens, will stand strong among the vast discography of its artist. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released April 1, 1979 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet
When Pat Metheny's New Chautauqua first appeared in 1979, it was his third album for ECM, and was greeted mainly on the strength of its title track, a euphoric, uptempo, multi-layered guitar and bass folk dance. His previous two outings for the label, Bright Size Life and Watercolors, showcased him in the company of other musicians: on the former with Bob Moses and Jaco Pastorius, on the latter with Lyle Mays, Danny Gottlieb, and Eberhard Weber. They'd both received critical acclaim and sold well in college towns across the United States and Europe. But this volume was his first true solo recording in that he played all the guitars and basses on the set. As wonderfully indicative of Metheny's signature as this title cut was, the rest of the date was a complete shock to fans. It's very sparse, spacious, and quietly contemplative. Produced by Manfred Eicher, New Chautauqua was, at the time, far more indicative of ECM's sound than it was the guitarist's. In 21st century retrospect, this first impression proves to be a mistake. Reconsidering the album upon its re-release in 2008 as part of the label's budget Touchstone series, it sounds more an extension of Metheny's complex, wide-ranging musical personality than anything else. His great debt to guitarists from Jim Hall to Pat Martino on the title cut and on "Daybreak," the closer, is balanced only by his impressionistic melodic sensibility that is informed as much by Paul Bley and Jimmy Giuffre ("Long Ago Child/Fallen Star") and latter day-John Lennon and Paul McCartney ("Hermitage") as it is by his mentor, Gary Burton ("Sueno con Mexico"). This is a very gentle and contemplative recording, but there is so much happening in the weave of six-, 12- and 15-string harp guitars and basses, it's easy to let it slip by in a dreamy reverie. If any of Metheny's early recordings deserves reconsideration, a real argument can be made for the skeletal, yet utterly beautiful New Chautauqua. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 1, 1984 | ECM

Recorded August 1978 in Oslo ("Sueño Con México"), June 1979 in Brookfield, Massachusetts ("(Cross The) Heartland"), in concert 1982 ("Travels"), October 1981 in New York ("James"), September 1980 in Oslo ("It's for You"), May 1980 in Oslo ("Every Day (I Thank You" & "Goin' Ahead")
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1983 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1980 | ECM

In 1980, Pat Metheny had already garnered an impressive level of popularity. With sold out tours and their consequential album sales, the guitarist had imposed upon the scene a sound and style which was already being adopted by others. And under the banner of the Pat Metheny Group with Lyle Mays, Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb, this success was furthered all the more. But some of jazz’s ayatollahs were still somewhat sceptical of his youth-carried success (Metheny himself was only 25 at the time)… With 80/81, which was recorded in May 1980 under the label ECM, things were soon to change. At the long-haired guitarist’s side was Munich-based producer Manfred Eicher. Eicher had the judicious idea of uniting, in Oslo’s Talent Studios, a pianist-free group comprising of four incontestable big names: bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Jack DeJohnette and tenor saxophonists Dewey Redman and Michael Brecker. What could have been merely a flashy and pointless casting turned out to be quite the opposite! On this copious one hour and twenty minute double album that’s as electric (on the beginning and end sections of the record) as it is acoustic, Pat Metheny shows all his colours, and writes the best part of the songs himself. Most importantly, these famed sidemen are stylistically a long-shot from his usual musical compadres. And the exchanges between this most-harmonious five are incredibly inspiring. Former musicians in Keith Jarett’s 1971-1976 quartet and match made in heaven, Charlie Haden and Dewey Redman seamlessly accommodate our young guitar maestro. No shock if you are aware of the relationship Metheny and Haden, both ailing from Missouri (they would record together some years later), have for North American folkloric music which shines through on this album. DeJohnette expertly weaves in and out of this tight canvas and is a central part of 80/81. The drummer carries a voice here that succeeds in standing out whilst remaining in harmony with others. And on songs like Open it is impossible to tear away your ear for even a second from the magical sound of his drumsticks. Finally, the saxophonists voices are opposing yet succeed in cementing their own place (Brecker is on fire on the opening of Two Folk Songs and Redman playful on his solo in Pretty Scattered). A double album which, as the years go by and after multiple listens, will stand strong among the vast discography of its artist. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1977 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1981 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 26, 2004 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 1, 1979 | ECM

When Pat Metheny's New Chautauqua first appeared in 1979, it was his third album for ECM, and was greeted mainly on the strength of its title track, a euphoric, uptempo, multi-layered guitar and bass folk dance. His previous two outings for the label, Bright Size Life and Watercolors, showcased him in the company of other musicians: on the former with Bob Moses and Jaco Pastorius, on the latter with Lyle Mays, Danny Gottlieb, and Eberhard Weber. They'd both received critical acclaim and sold well in college towns across the United States and Europe. But this volume was his first true solo recording in that he played all the guitars and basses on the set. As wonderfully indicative of Metheny's signature as this title cut was, the rest of the date was a complete shock to fans. It's very sparse, spacious, and quietly contemplative. Produced by Manfred Eicher, New Chautauqua was, at the time, far more indicative of ECM's sound than it was the guitarist's. In 21st century retrospect, this first impression proves to be a mistake. Reconsidering the album upon its re-release in 2008 as part of the label's budget Touchstone series, it sounds more an extension of Metheny's complex, wide-ranging musical personality than anything else. His great debt to guitarists from Jim Hall to Pat Martino on the title cut and on "Daybreak," the closer, is balanced only by his impressionistic melodic sensibility that is informed as much by Paul Bley and Jimmy Giuffre ("Long Ago Child/Fallen Star") and latter day-John Lennon and Paul McCartney ("Hermitage") as it is by his mentor, Gary Burton ("Sueno con Mexico"). This is a very gentle and contemplative recording, but there is so much happening in the weave of six-, 12- and 15-string harp guitars and basses, it's easy to let it slip by in a dreamy reverie. If any of Metheny's early recordings deserves reconsideration, a real argument can be made for the skeletal, yet utterly beautiful New Chautauqua. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 19, 1988 | ECM

This is a soul-stirring release performed by Pat Metheny and a plethora of friends, all great jazz musicians in their own right. Works II is a compilation of his finest work, spread out from the years 1976 to 1984. This guitarist/composer/bandleader became one of the leading names in the jazz genre during the '70s and '80s. This collection of beautifully written numbers reflects his character of good taste and the unique flavor of his graceful, even-flowing solos. Opening with "Unquity Road," Metheny is joined by the legendary Jaco Pastorius on bass and Bob Moses on drums. The soothing sweeping tones of his guitar blends in charmingly with Moses pulsating percussion and the rousing basslines of Pastorius. In "Unity Village," Metheny has arranged an eloquent melody line that keeps the piece together as one entity. It is understandable why the listener would feel the third track would be named as it is, "Open." This is free jazz in its highest degree of candid musicianship. Metheny charges in the foreground with mesmerizing scalework, with Charlie Haden playing crisp baselines, and Jack DeJohnette soaring all over his drum set like a runaway train during an enlightening solo. Then guest tenor sax specialists Dewey Redman and Mick Brecker take the lead with shimmering resonance. It is perhaps "Story From a Stranger" that provides the most emotionally alluring and dramatic effect among this collection of compositions. A shallow and subtle introduction soon falls by the wayside into a brilliant crescendo of haunting effect. Metheny brings Works II to a delightful and enriching closing with "Farmer's Trust," an eloquently spoken, sentimental, and quite restrained piece. Long time friend Lyle Mays, a student of Keith Jarrett, accompanies him on piano and organ. It is a tune, by the nature of its melody, intently foretelling a feeling of shadow-filled imagery. The record as a whole is filled with ingenious work and bits and pieces of crafty, witty playing, in spontaneous form. It is a sincere measure of Metheny's personality as a leading jazz fusion guitarist of the time. © Shawn Haney /TiVo