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Pat Metheny Orchestration
on 10 May 2010
This is Pat Metheny's latest solo work and probably his most interesting since New Chautauqua but technology has advanced since that early album.
The album was apparently inspired from Metheny playing around with hig Grandads player piano when he was a child. The original orchestrations were mechanically played mini orchestras from the 1800's based around the piano Metheny has taken it a step further.
This huge machine dwarfs him on stage with all its custom made instuments which Metheny controls though his guitar via solenoids and a MIDI.
The 15 minute title track is pure upbeat Metheny with a slighty folky overtures but works very well as a piece and to listen to it you would not guess the majority of the instrumentation was a machine with Metheny playing over the top.
The more insular pieces Entry point and Soul search don't work as well,like a drum machine on a west coast Jazz album from the mid nineties the music misses that human touch.
If you were not aware of the creativity and ingenuity of this modern master you would ask why he bothered? His fans allow him his indulgence albums simply for those sublime moments that few modern Jazz masters have matched.
To be effective you need to see the piece performed live,when I saw him perform it recently in London the Orchestration machine broke down! As Metheny said at the time his worst nightmare. Myself and many others in the audience were secretly relieved as he then performed a lovely solo set of vintage material. Not a Metheny classic but real officianados of the man fans will not be disappointed.