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Great playing from this stellar lineup
on 10 March 2008
Apart from taking time out to play with Brad Mehldau last year, Metheny has been playing in this trio extensively since the release of his last Group effort in 2005; in fact, it turns out that all the pieces on this CD were laid down in October of that year during a recording session that lasted a single day (hence the title). Sanchez is the current drummer in his group, and McBride - while still only in his mid 30's - has played with the likes of Benny Carter, Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker and Sting. When these three stellar musicians get together, it's a powerful mix, ranging from the supremely confident opener, "Son Of Thirteen" to the terrific title track (known, somewhat confusingly, as "Number 13" in early live setlists). Others have already commented on the elegaic "Is This America?", though the titular connection with Metheny's hit single "This Is Not America" doesn't seem to have registered.
I bought this disc in HMV Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, having had my eye on it since its release. Personally, my preference is always for Metheny's group outings with Lyle Mays, as they seem to offer a little more scope for his gifts of melody and texture, but I'll take him in pretty much any form that he chooses to dispense himself, as I've long thought of him as an artist of impeccable taste and ability.