on 21 September 2004
I've lived with this album for quite a while and I'm still amazed by its twists and turns, as it moves between smoky low-key "brooding" to full-on rock stylings within the space of two tracks. With few exceptions, Metheny has always done this for me and, by refusing to stay within the preconceived boundaries set by some listeners, his music remains definitively his, and not the passing product of some fad or other. With artists who are content to follow their own star, their back catalogue remains as valid and viable as ever, and so it is with Pat Metheny.
Imaginary day begins with its oriental-styled title track. The fretless guitar and stop-start oriental "stings" gives way to distorted fretless leads in the buildup to a classic Metheny finale. This convoluted track sets the listener up for the changes to follow. "Follow Me" is traditional Metheny "good times" music, open chords and breezy stylings that evoke the best days of early summer. "Into the dream" is small and introverted, its brilliance almost hidden by its shyness, only to blossom on-stage at a Metheny concert. The tracks, each with their own unique character, build towards the towering "The Roots of Coincidence", "Across the sky" being the calm before the storm. For my tastes, the album could have finished one track later, at the end of "Too soon tomorrow", since the celtic stylings of the closing track "The Awakening" were never entirely convincing (I listen to a lot of Celtic music, and some fringe celtic-based material such as "Lights in the Dark" by Hector Zazou - brilliant). Despite the rather lacklustre closing track the overall effect is exactly as I'd expected, glorious.
This is a well-produced album which showcases Metheny's richly varied guitar style, and his interplay with Lyle Mays sparkling piano runs, augmented with Steve Rodby's warm bass guitar, and Paul Wertico's tight percussion. On the tracks where these musicians predominate, the music is the most persuasive, melodically and structurally, and textures are richest and most rewarding. The downside is that Pat as producer at times adds too much to the mix, and the addition of irritating 'techno-bleep' is both intrusive, and at times buries the richer melodies and guitar subtleties altogether.
For the most part though, this is an impressive demonstration of Pat Metheny's mouthwatering guitar skills, supported by an sympathetic base group, and given a really fine dynamic range throughout this album. Just a shame about the tweetings and burblings really: a classic case of 'less is more'. Well-worth a listen nevertheless.
on 6 March 2003
I got into Pat Methaney last year and since then have purchased 8 of his albums! For the un-initiated, Pat M is a jazz guitarist who is a sort of blend of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck. His sound is a laid back, atmospheric and sophisticated and very easy to listen. What I would describe as late night mood music (particularly when you have company!). Imaginary Day is interesting as it brings in musical influences from the far east and Scotland! as well as the more typical PM fare of latin, blues, classical flamenco and US rock. The oriental stuff works well, the celtic stuff less so. In my view its not quite up to the level of the albums 'Still Life Talking' or 'We Live Here' which are classics, but it comes reasonably close.
on 20 January 2015
Another Classic for the Guitar Maestro. There is no English writing anywhere, however, there are enough clues for the budding Alan Turing to practice their code-cracking skills - an added bonus while sitting, relaxing, taking coffee and chocolate, while listening to this CD
on 24 December 2012
Pat Methney / Lyle Mays music has an effect that is akin to that described in those beer adverts concerning, reaching parts that other's don't reach. Is it too strong to describe this as the Mozart of the jazz world, music that is sublime, complex, fulfilling in its nuance and crescendo. I love Pat Methney, Lyle Mays - they are super competent craftsmen of their art.
Blimey what a well recorded album with a stunning surround mix (DVDA). The music approximately an hour of jazz/world fusion with a new age and heavy metal bent. The album starts with the title track setting the tone at 11 minutes needs to be listened to and absorbed, rewarding you with a great appreciation for the rest of the album.
Further the recording is spotless and the in my system the woofer gets a good workout at times. The DVDA is also free of that most modern phenomenon compression; there is a dynamic range here that is stunning. Load bits load ready to upset the neighbours quiet bits quiet straining to hear the sound. Buy while you can, this is a surround demonstration disc.