Road to You: Live in Europe
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Top Customer Reviews
Other favourite tracks for me are Better Days Ahead (a souped-up version of a track from 1989's Letter From Home) and Half Life of Absolution, but the sheer energy displayed on Third Wind takes it to yet a higher level.
The Road To You is another brilliantly crafted album, recorded in Europe and containing live tracks from the mid part of the PMG catalogue - Still Life Talking, Letter From Home etc.....
Recording quality is exceptional - musicianship top notch as you would expect from these perfectionists - The highlight for me is "Half Life Of Absolution" - a 14 minute explosive instrumental starting with near silence and containing highly-charged solos from Pat and Lyle that build beautifully to their inevitable climax
If you wanted to introduce a friend to the music of PMG, this is a good place to start.
However, for the most breath-taking and moving performance - listen to Travels from start to finish and keep it on repeat. At the least it will change your view on great music. For those willing to stay the course, it will change your life forever.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In a live performance, a lot can go wrong: feedback, noise, mistakes. But there are no mistakes in "Half Life of Absolution" (HLOA). Take note, guitar fiends. There is much to learn here. Pat has taken feedback and integrated it into the whole of the piece. His timing perfectly dovetails the distortion of his chosen electronic effect into the phrasing to create a continuous, complete piece of music with nothing thrown away. Pat does the real work; he doesn't rely on tricks. He makes it sound easy, but I doubt that it is. He hears and plays the tune (and plays with the tune) simultaneously. It smolders and builds to the scorching mid-section in a controlled burn that excites but never flames out of control. You think it's peaked, but hold on as Lyle takes us into the next flaming section, dipping and rolling, building and picking up percussive speed. To the very end, HLOA uses electronic guitar effect as the central instrument, and yet, it is never ever chaotic or overdone. Elegance and perfection, people. Your money's worth is right here.
Other highlights: A beautiful rendition of "Naked Moon." Pat has taken romantic and given it sound in this 5-minute piece. I haven't found "Naked Moon" on any other recordings. The title track "The Road To You" is also tenderly performed. "First Circle," a perennial PMG favorite, is excellently presented as always. "First Circle" has a life of its own. It's as if it were always there, just waiting to be plucked from the ether, captured solely for our endless pleasure. The muse deemed Pat worthy to present this gem to the world, and we are richer for it.
The European audience cannot be surpassed for their respect and etiquette during a music performance. Even when the music has ascended to frenzy for listener and player alike, this audience remains cool and holds its applause until the last note has fallen still. And like all PMG audiences, they heap generous applause on the band at the end of each tune. Road To You Live is performance at its best and definitely not to be missed for fusion jazz enthusiasts, PMG lovers, guitar fiends, and generally anyone who knows a hot performance when they hear one.
Line-up: Pat on guitar, Lyle Mays on keys, Steve Rodby on bass, Paul Wertico on drums, Armando Marcal on percussion and voice, and Pedro Aznar on pretty much everything else (as well as the above-mentioned instruments).
This 1993 live album wonderfully wraps up the era that began in the studio with 'First Circle' and ended with 'Letter From Home'.
It also marks the end of Metheny's fascination with Transportation and Real Estate, when it comes to album titles. I think there's a potential PhD thesis waiting to be written here, but it started with 'American Garage', and went on through 'Offramp', 'Travels', 'Letter From Home', 'The Road to You' and ended with 'We Live Here'. Maybe they are clues to the location of buried treasure -- don't read to much into the map sections on the cover of 'We Live Here'.
More seriously, this album is a greatest hits collection from the era, and there are some great versions too. Even the audience is nicely recorded.
I went to see Metheny in concert in London several years before this album, and I was mystified by the long track in a heavy rock instrumental idiom that the band played. It wasn't on any album, and I don't think Metheny explained what it was at the concert. Well, it turned up on this album, the magnificent 'Half Life of Absolution'.
It's very unusual for an artist to be known for TWO great live albums, but Metheny should be. 'Travels' and this record are both wonderful.