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28 Reviews
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you know it makes sense
A new Pat Metheny Group album always brings with it a knot of anticipation and expectantcy - and not a little trepidation. Seasoned campaigners have become used to acccepting that there is no such thing as a typical Pat Metheny album. But what you always do get is Jazz music in it's widest sense from a musician who understands clearly the language that is "Jazz"...
Published on 28 Dec 2004 by P. Cottom

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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Yes than Miles Davis
I know I'll be slated for saying this, and I'll never again receive any free concert posters from Ted Kurland Associates, but this album is sheer confectionery -- another concoction of Metheny sweetmeats with no soul. For those of us who've been following the Metheny-Mays combo since the 1970s, it is depressing that they have come up with something that is better labelled...
Published on 25 Jan 2005 by Gavin Wilson


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly Great, 18 May 2010
This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
It seems to be considered blasphemy by hardened Metheny fans to criticise anything he does. I am a fairly hardened fan since 1980 - and as a good amateur guitarist, I can play most of his tunes - but in truth, not all his output is perfect. The concert his band gave to promote this work in London a few years ago was without doubt the greatest gig of his I have attended. In keeping with some other reviewers, I feel that bits of this piece tend towards overblown noodling, which in truth could be abbreviated to curtail sheer boredom on the part of many listeners. I am not alone in thinking that some of his best tunes over the years have been tarnished by long synth guitar solos, some of which sound merely over-indulgent. However, the main themes and general musicality in the Way Up are both strong and uplifting and it is these qualities which frequently shine through in Metheny's music. For this reason, a definite four stars and a cautious recommendation to sceptics to try it out, but please give it at least four listens before making your conclusions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXTRAORDINARY, 18 Feb 2005
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This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
I pretty much have all of Pat's cds and feel qualified to make the bold review that I'm about to write. After first listening to the cd, I wasn't moved and I think this was because, it was playing from speakers in the background and there was a lot of background and interfering noise. Then I made the mistake of putting it in my CD walkman whilst going to work and boy what a totally mind blowing experience that was. I've heard nothing quite like it and I just can't stop shaking my head in awe of the amazing music that Pat has come up with. There are so many superlatives that I could use to describe it and boy have I been thinking of which one to best use. So here goes, "THIS CD IS EXTRAORINDARY!". Some may say extraordinary doesn't quite cut it and I won't disagree but the best advice I can give, I think, is "GO AND BUY IT, YOU WON'T REGRET IT, TRUST ME" and I'm not even a politician.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Back to Old Roots, 5 April 2005
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Mr. M. Platt (TRURO, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
This album is just what we would expect from Metheny and Mays. From the moment I played this CD I knew it was going to be great. They have had many explorative/experimental albums in the past which gets added to the collection but which, to be honest, wouldn't even get a second airing. This one is like going back to the early years for Metheny and Mays with First Circle undertones. Anyone who knows Metheny will love this album. Excellent and recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep listening, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
For some reason I have just come back to this disc. I have just played it back to back roughly 10 times. Others will explain why you should buy it, but to my ears this is the best release of the last 20 years. Modern, jazzy, moody, fast, slow, techno, complex, simple, musical - it's all in there. 68 minutes of pure pleasure. If you want something which is the antithesis of today's music scene - get it. At £4.99 it's a steal. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pat's Jazz Symphony, 25 Jan 2005
This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
This album will definately reward repeated listens. In fact, it absolutely demands repeated listens as you cannot absorb it all in one go. It goes against more traditional jazz compositions in that the piece evolves over the whole 68 minutes. The first five minutes of 'part one' lay down the foundations of the melodic content which resurface in different guises throughout the piece.
There is also a more pronounced use of 'proper' synth sounds (i.e. not trying to sound like acoustic instruments) and use of the studio (plenty of overdubbing and various 'quick edits' etc.) which may make the more casual Pat fan wonder quite what it is they are listening to. The casual listener will also find it difficult to pick out the beautiful singable melodies that Pat is famous for - rest assured, they are there - albeit reduced in quantity (this is one 'song' remember) and 'buried' within the whole cd and therefore cannot be 'dipped into' like a conventional album.
It is because of this fact that i believe that Pat and his Group will win countless awards for what is undoubtably a stunning and rewarding album. However, it is exactly this same reason that he may also alienate a few listeners. This album sounds unlike any other Group album but at the same time you know it's them.
I think it's closest relative in the Pat catalogue may be Imaginary Day - in concept and possibly 'sound' rather than content.
This will be a classic album in years to come. You HAVE to own this album. Buy it.
Just make sure to listen to it, uninterrupted, on headphones at least 5 times before you think about dismissing it...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning classic, 1 Sep 2006
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SL "stef_cd" (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
I think this work will become a jazz classic. To me it is a synthesis of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays work over the last 20 years or so but is in no way a retrospective. Having seen this incarnation of the group live you can see a new dynamic and can hear it on this album.

Though the music is not challenging like some of Pats recordings it does take a few run throughs to pick up the compositional thread. Give it a chance.

The cover art is great too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Metheny album, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
This is a typical example of Pat Metheny's mixture of world music and jazz that I find to be entertaining, relaxing and accessible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My most played Pat Metheny album, 17 Dec 2011
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Mr. Gary Culpan "garyculpan" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Way Up (MP3 Download)
It's a fabulous album and is exciting all the way through. I love the haunting guitar sound and the latin style background vocals. The price is a give-away in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars it's a good one!, 8 Dec 2011
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This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
We all know that sometimes we can't follow what Metheney does - some stuff is just too difficult for me (must be my fault as he's the musician) But this one works. remember the beautiful link between April Wind and April Joy? Well the link between the first and second tracks of this is an equal. It's 'Metheny' but with a little twist. Give it a chance - most reviewers say it takes a while then it's never off your cd. Am buying it now for some friends who like Camel/Yes and it isn't prog rock but like the best jazz, it isn't that either.................worth a try. Merry Xmas all of you who try to help by sharing your views.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Less accessible but excellent nonetheless, 18 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Way Up (Audio CD)
It's amusing to read reviews of Pat Metheny albums - the sheer diversity of his output inevitably causes disappointment in those wanting more of the same: bop, jazz, folksy americana, fusion, melodic accessible smooth jazz, reflective acoustic guitar solos, duos, trios, ensembles etc.

I can see why this album is causing a certain amount of consternation because it's like nothing that PMG has done before; some reviews here are even suggesting Metheny is finished. It's true that the highly accessible jazzy, poppy melodies that are the signature of the PMG are largely absent from this work, but what's there in their place is excellent: superb musicianship, as always, but also great composition and arrangements.

For me Metheny is now firmly part of the tradition of Gershwin, Bernstein, Ellington and other modern US composers. Even his early music adapts very easily to orchestral settings, so I'd like to hear more work of this type of scale and ambition from Metheny and Mays.
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The Way Up
The Way Up by Pat Metheny (Audio CD - 2005)
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