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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great albums of all time., 28 Nov 2010
This review is from: Letter from Home (Audio CD)
'Letter from Home' was one of the first PMG albums I heard, and remains my favourite even after hearing the likes of 'The Way Up' and 'Speaking of Now'. There is quite simply not a single track on the entire album that is below a certain standard. The sheer range of material the group pumps out is staggering, creating countless changes in tempo, mood and genre, while still maintaining the Latin feel throughout. Vocalist Pedro Aznar's presence sets the tone for much of the album, expanding on the vocalise techniques Metheny had already experimented with through Nana Vasconcelos on 'Offramp' and 'As Falls Wichita'. His voice usually follows the main tune in each piece, adding a greater depth of sound than in previous albums and letting Pat and Lyle improvise more in addition.
The first four tracks (including 'Have you Heard', which has a become a favourite track to be played live) are in themselves incredibly diverse, keeping to the same structure of a main theme with solos running around and the occasional bridge passage (always a treat). After that, the Latin feel peaks with the short-but-sweet '45/8' and the first half is rounded off with '5/5/7', an engrossing atmospheric track that you can easily lose yourself in.
The second half has perhaps even more diversity, beginning with the joyful 'Beat 70', a firecracker of a tune that will leave you with a smile on your face. Leading on from that is the simply beautiful 'Dream of the Return', a love song with Spanish lyrics by Aznar. If I had to pick out any track from this album as the absolute masterpiece, this would be it. The pure, brilliant emotional theme and increasingly extroverted solos build up to a climax that almost brings tears to the eyes! Towards the very end, Aznar's voice soars and leaves you warm and content, ready for the unadulterated madness of 'Are We There Yet' which Lyle wrote without Pat's input, and which sounds like something Schoenberg would have written, given a synthesiser and synth guitar! The main theme is as close as the group gets to rocking out completely in this album, leading on to an extended guitar solo with backing that includes sound effects like car horns honking etc. The last couple of minutes are a subtle segue into 'Vidala', Pedro Aznar's compositional contribution to the record. This at least has lyrics in English, and although it's often hard to hear exactly what Aznar is saying, the overall feel of the track leans towards the oriental at times and creates some fabulous intense moments.
'Slip Away', the penultimate offering is perhaps the weakest track on the album as it is the least complex and varied, however it is infused with great energy and a sense of forward motion, and features Pat's typically eargasmic solos. The album is rounded off with the title track, a masterfully underplayed gem that releases all the emotion built up throughout the album and provides a lasting sense of well being.
All together, this album is without a doubt one of PMG's finest hours, required listening for any fans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word..."Uplifting", 27 Mar 2002
By 
Damien Boyd - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Letter from Home (Audio CD)
Pat Metheny has made a very accessible yet musically-rich album that should appeal to the majority. Many of the numbers move so quickly that you sometimes feel that you can't keep pace with the rhythm hence resulting in a really "feel good" factor. The mood is Latin-American throughout with strong bass, drums, guitar, piano and harmonies. Its hard to pick a favourite..they are all excellent. "Beat 70" is particularly stimulating while the mood and beat is slowed down for the most fabulous love song "Dream of the Return".
To be played regularly in any interesting cafe...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Pat Metheny - an all time favourite, 13 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Letter from Home (Audio CD)
This is a classic Pat Metheny album - the guitar work, the melodies, rythms - all are captivating and exciting. Unlike the songs which grab you instantly, Pat Metheny grows on you the more you hear, making Letter From Home a "must have" in any collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will anyone give this less than 5 stars?, 4 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Letter From Home (Audio CD)
It seems kind of pointless given that everyone else is giving this 5 stars....

Really, this is a staggering album. At this point the PMG was a mature outfit, amazingly talented and confident in its own style. There are twelve tracks on the album and the variety of styles, moods and pace is mind-boggling, full of ideas and moods and not overplayed or overproduced.

I can't think of another album or band capable of creating such different sounds as Spring Ain't here and Dream of the Return - to mention but two tracks because there are far too many high points to list or try to describe

In the words (well, word) of another reviewer - SUPERB
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Pat Metheny then you'll like this., 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Letter from Home (Audio CD)
This is typical of Pat Metheny with what I class as laid back jazz/world fusion. Mellow guitar over a wall of vocals used as instruments and piano, keyboards and bass. It's different enough from other albums to warrant buying it, but still very recognisable as a Pat Metheny production.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic music, 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Letter From Home (MP3 Download)
I'm pretty new to jazz but I heard a track from this album on the radio which was just so good I had to find out where it came from. It's an album of really fantastic music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Pat's best, 8 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Letter From Home (Audio CD)
Originally had this on cassette so thought it time I had it on CD. Sounds even more brilliant than before! One of Metheny's classic recordings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 11 Sep 2013
By 
Amazon Customer "Daniel" (London United Kingdom TW13 4GF) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Letter from Home (Audio CD)
I like the music. Know this album for ages, now bought on cd. Refreshing music, full of air. Excellent musicianship.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely sound, 29 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Letter From Home (Audio CD)
Lovely sound, great music quality, amazing atmosphere,
Beautiful percusion from the brazilian musicians in this album.
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays are incredible musical souls.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Metheny Magic, 13 July 2013
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This review is from: Letter from Home (Audio CD)
This was an opportunity to familiarise myself with what Pat Metheny has to offer and this cd certainly does not disappoint.
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Letter from Home
Letter from Home by Pat Metheny
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