The Pat Metheny Group's foray into long form jazz/World fusion/prog styles on their latest CD The Way Up is captured here in concert from Seoul, Korea. Here, Metheny and his Internation band plays the entire album start to finish, and it's an exciting watch for longtime fans of the guitar genius. Over the years, Pat and his collaborator, keyboard player Lyle Mays, have dabbled in jazz, fusion, Latin styles, World Music, folks, and avant-garde jazz styles, and on The Way Up came up with a symphonic brew of all these elements, even a little 70's styled prog rock. They decided to document one of the shows on the Asian leg of their tour, at the LG Arts Center in Seoul, and although Eagle Rock only includes the performance of the album (no doubt another hour or so of classic Metheny material was played) on this DVD set, it's an inspiring set to say the least. Joining Pat and Mays are acclaimed bassist Steve Rodby, drummer Antonio Sanchez, trumpet/percussion/guitar/vocalist Cuong Vu, harmonica/guitar/percussion/vocalist Gregoire Maret, and guitarist/percussionist/vocalist Nando Lauria, and all of the musicians contribute greatly to the overall richness of the sound that is the Pat Metheny Group.
As always, the centerpiece of the band is the silky style of Metheny. Whether burning it up on electric guitar, bursting with ideas on synthesized guitar,or laying down some deft acoustic passages, Metheny is always the consummate pro. With Lyle Mays laying down plenty of colors and tonal pallettes on synths and piano, you really get to hear all the musicians taking part in the overall sounds and putting in their little solo spots. Drummer Sanchez really impresses as well when given a solo spot. Filled with rich instrumentation that ocassionally gets a little fiery (especially from Metheny) as well as understated vocal tones, The Way Up-Live is a very good DVD of a band at the top of their game, playing one of their most demanding long form pieces.
2) Part One
3) Part Two
4) Part Three
5) Bonus Interview with Pat Metheny