with Pat Metheny


“Pat is a great musician and composer and a close friend and we’ve been playing together many years and every time we play together its great and very special. He’s one of the musicians that have incorporated electronics into an acoustic instrument and made it sound like his own and made it real.” – Charlie Haden


Beyond The Missouri Sky (Verve/1997)
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This subtle, sublime collaboration finds bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Pat Metheny crafting bejeweled chamber duets that transcend genre. With their shared Missouri lineage as a thematic touchstone, Haden and Metheny forge a lyrical, mostly acoustic style at once intimate and expansive. Both pare their playing to a Zen-like economy, focusing on a purity of tone, clarity of harmony, and counterpoint to achieve a tender lyricism. (Amazon.com)

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Secret Story (Geffen/1992)
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Pat Metheny’s most ambitious solo project is also his most emotionally rich work as composer. A conceptual song cycle inspired by a tumultuous relationship frames the CD’s alternately intense and introspective motifs with sweeping orchestrations and a shifting array of global musics spanning Asia, Europe, and the Americas. With a vast cast (including numerous Metheny Group members past and present), and Metheny himself marshalling percussion, horns, and keyboards as well as guitar and guitar synthesizer, Secret Story is by turns lush, heroic, heartbroken, at once epic and intimate. (Amazon.com)


Song X (Geffen/1985)
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Pat Metheny confounded fans and critics alike with this opening salvo for his new label, Geffen, delivering among the most uninhibited, collective meltdowns ever released on a major pop label. Song X served notice that this was one artist who refused to be pigeonholed. In joining forces with jazz maverick Ornette Coleman, Metheny midwifed a compelling declaration of principles on behalf of experimental musicians. Jack DeJohnette and Denardo Coleman throw down on acoustic and electronic percussion, and stalwart bassist Charlie Haden holds down the time. (Amazon.com)

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Rejoicing (ECM/1983)
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Metheny joins bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins, one of Ornette Coleman’s finest rhythm pairings, for this recording. Rejoicing looks closely at Coleman’s group dynamics and three of his tunes (though it’s Horace Silver’s “Lonely Woman,” not Coleman’s, that opens the album). The three mesh perfectly on Coleman’s “Tears Inside,” “Humpty Dumpty,” and “Rejoicing,” with Metheny generating long lines of melody over sprung rhythms. While the guitarist often shifts musical direction from CD to CD, his compositions on Rejoicing offer remarkable contrasts. He creates a rich overdub of electric and acoustic guitars for the ballad “Story from a Stranger,” then generates an almost Albert Ayler-like sound for the intensely electric dirge “The Calling,” the mood enhanced by Haden’s bowed bass and animated by Higgins’s free drumming. (Amazon.com)


80/81 (ECM/1981)
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Guitarist Pat Metheny gets to play with the big boys on this spirited double album. Having made a string of well-received albums with his young band, featuring keyboardist Lyle Mays, Metheny (a former Gary Burton sideman) had graduated to the front rank of youthful jazz and fusion guitarists. He’s a warm player with a harmonically sophisticated approach to soloing, and his breezy compositions made him easily approachable for casual listeners but belied the complexity of much of the music. 80/81 is Metheny’s musical bar mitzvah: a chance to step up and be counted among the men of the congregation. Instead of his usual band of contemporaries, Metheny opts to work out with four of jazz’s most respected graybeards: bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and saxophonists Dewey Redman and Mike Brecker. That both Haden and Redman are long associated with Ornette Coleman is represented by a cover of Coleman’s “Turnaround,” a surprising move that augured Metheny’s own future collaboration with the alto legend (on Song X). Still, in the final analysis, Metheny is the leader and the band plays his music. (Amazon.com)

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