Country : United States / USA Label : Nonesuch Genres and styles : Contemporary Jazz / Jazz Year : 2020

From This Place

· by Michel Rondeau

Pat Metheny – Pat la mitaine, as my friend Henri nicknamed him on a snowstorm night when the pair of us were half the crowd who came to hear him and his band at El Casino – has an instantly recognizable sound, a timbre with an almost too bright clarity, it’s also a style, equally unique, with vertiginous flights in search of the paroxysmal note, his elaborate constructions becoming more and more complex over the years while remaining fundamentally the same, much like his tousled hair and striped t-shirts. Now, after a few years of silence, Metheny’s new album  is undoubtedly his most ambitious. Inspired by Creed Taylor’s productions on the CTI label in the ’70s, which used Don Sebesky’s orchestrations mixing jazz and big band, he serves up Metheny “with strings” in a big way. And he did not skimp on resources. He called on two top arrangers for the scores, and on an orchestra experienced in recording Hollywood soundtracks. The result is even denser and busier music, where the strings serve as a showcase for Metheny and his musicians, who shine with all their energy. It’s all there, just like in the movies: action, drama and tender moments. As a bonus, there’s even MeShell Ndegeocello singing a bittersweet ballad. He’s really put on a show. In the moment, you get an earful, but afterwards, strangely enough, as with some films, nothing seems to really stick.

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