Pat Metheny/Pat Metheny Group: Pat Metheny; Richard Bona (vocals); Steve Rodby (bass instrument); Cuong Vu, Lyle Mays , Antonio Sanchez , Gr‚goire Maret.
Personnel: Pat Metheny (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, guitar synthesizer); Richard Bona (guitar, percussion); Steve Rodby (violin, cello, acoustic bass, electric bass); Gr‚goire Maret (harmonica); Cuong Vu (trumpet); Lyle Mays (piano, keyboards); Antonio Sanchez (drums); David Samuels (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Rob Eaton.
Recording information: Right Track Recording, New York, NY (2003-2004).
Photographer: Doyle Partners.
Guitarist Pat Metheny has been working with long song forms since his career began in the 1970s. However, his 2005 release, THE WAY UP, takes the extended form to the next level. One composition split into four sections, this album just may be Metheny's most ambitious work to date.
Collaborating with longtime associates Lyle Mays (keyboards), Steve Rodby (bass), and a host of newer PMG members, Metheny embarks on a 68-minute sonic journey. Unlike a typical jazz suite, this music doesn't break down into movements; rather, the listener hears chapters, or parts, which segue seamlessly into one another. Moreover, the composition's main theme is woven, rather slyly, throughout much of the piece, which brilliantly combines atmospheric passages with burning-hot jazz solos. In "Part Three," the music climaxes with layers of multi-tracked vocals by singer Richard Bona, with his voice soaring high above the taut rhythm section. Even though this album contains just one composition, the music never gets tiring or worn out, given its extraordinary twists and turns. Much of this is due to Metheny's newest asset, harmonica player Gregoire Maret, who contributes greatly to this bold work's development.
Down Beat (p.69) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The texturally complex, many-tempoed music is often constructed of overdubbed layers of attractive, ear-tickling sounds..."
JazzTimes (p.70) - "[A] work of richness, complexity and stunning execution."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Metheny builds the music as a series of interconnected themes that come to ultimate fruition near the album's end..."
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