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Metheny, Pat: From This Place

The always busy jazz-guitar legend Pat Metheny ironically hasn't released a solo album since 2011's What's It All About, but he's back here in 2020 with a new one for the Nonesuch label, titled From This Place. Joining Pat here is Gwilym Simcock (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass, vocals), Antonio Sanchez (drums), with special guests Luis Conte (percussion), Meshell Ndegeocello (vocal), and Gregoire Maret (harmonica), along with The Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Joe McNeely. Metheny of course handles all guitars and some keyboards. The results are quite lovely, the compositions taking on a sweeping, uplifting quality with addition of the orchestra, Pat's fleet fingered, melodic guitar running in and out of the arrangements in glorious fashion throughout.

Plenty of highlights here, including the delightful 13+ minute opener "America Undefined" (Metheny was never averse to epic length tunes!), which features some dazzling piano from Simcock, who is surely to be Pat's right hand man now with the passing of longtime bandmate Lyle Mays right around the time of this albums release. "Wide and Far" is majestic, familiar sounding Metheny 'fusion'Americana', speedy guitar lines swirling around grandiose piano with the orchestra simmering in the background, while Oh's velvety bass grooves alongside Simcock's majestic piano on the melodic "Same River", followed shortly by Metheny's bright guitar synth explorations. Traditional jazz meets orchestra on the complex "Pathmaker", and the leader shows off his dazzling skills on the superb guitar extravaganza that is "Everything Explained". Another noteworthy track is the lengthy "Sixty- Six", all members getting room to solo along to some addicting melodies. Classic Metheny!

From This Place is a wonderful listen, dark and melancholy in spots, bright and joyous in others, filled with stellar musical performances and glorious orchestrations. The world is indeed a better 'place' with new Pat Metheny music to enjoy...don't miss this one!

Track Listing
1. America Undefined 13:22
2. Wide and Far 08:26
3. You Are 06:13
4. Same River 06:43
5. Pathmaker 08:19
6. The Past In Us 06:23
7. Everything Explained 06:52
8. From This Place 04:40
9. Sixty-six 09:38
10. Love May Take A While 05:57

Added: April 4th 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artists @ Bandcamp
Hits: 555
Language: english

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