Not necessarily the best Pat Metheny CD ever but the music contained on MMQ showcases what are, for me, the most personal and satisfying apects of Metheny's playing. The tunes are melodic and the structures lend themselves readily to the Missouri magician's muse. Mehldau is a perfect foil for the older man, in the league of Mays and Hancock, and his rhythm section of Ballard and Grenadier are sympathetic and very much fit for purpose. Ballard particularly shows himself to be musicians dream; dynamic, interactive and subtle.
The material is beautifully rendered and the pace of the CD is a delight. If you like Metheny in a reasonably open blowing session, away from the structures of his work with the Pat Metheny Group, then this is for you. If you like the more conventional aspects of his playing, there if plenty of that but there is room for some of his edgier playing too ('Fear and Trembling'). The 'Metheny synth guitar' makes its appearance.
Linda Manzer's 42-string Pikasso guitar makes an appearance on 'The Sound Of Water' and it is nice to hear this radical instrument beginning to integrate itself into more conventional ensemble playing. 'Don't Wait' is a pretty ballad and both Metheny and Mehldau get to breathe deeply of its treasures. Other highlights are 'En La Terra Que No Olvida', 'Towards The Light' (the patented 'Metheny synth guitar' makes its appearance here) and a revisit to 'Marta's Theme' off 'Passagio Per Il Paradiso'.
A pleasure to listen to and getting better every time!