Pat Metheny, Still Life (Talking)
This album is special to me because I found it in the cutout bin of a used record shop sometime in the early 90s and the unexpected music I heard actually rekindled my musical imagination. I was aware of Pat’s playing from the time he started touring and recording with Gary Burton in the mid-70s. I also really liked his early album releases in the late 70s, but at the time it didn’t make a deep connection with me because of the “chorus-y” sound of his guitar on those early albums. The 80s were a blur for me because I was spending most of my free time with my two young sons instead of listening to new music. When I finally heard this album a few years after its 1987 release, I became a serious Pat Metheny fan. I connected with this music on a soul level. Since that time, I have watched Pat expand his musical universe (and ours) with a seemingly-endless flow of beautiful and challenging compositions played on a collection of old and new instruments such as the Coral Sitar, the Roland GR-300 guitar synth, the Manzer Pikasso 42-string guitar, the Nashville-tuned baritone guitar, the Orchestrion and, of course, his 6-string electric and acoustic axes. And let’s not forget that Metheny, Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby, Paul Wertico, Armando Marcal, David Blamires, and Mark Ledford play the $#!% out of every tune on this Grammy-winning album.
Contemporary Guitar Improvisation
Remember back covers…