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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Day Trip (Nonesuch, 2008)
PAT METHENY WITH CHRISTIAN McBRIDE AND ANTONIO SANCHEZ
For a split second during Pat Metheny's amazing, intimate, ultimate, spectacular, superb, outstanding rendition of "So May It Secretly Begin" at Yoshi's in San Francisco on February 22nd, 2008, we thought he should, and would, keep playing with drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Christian McBride for the rest of his career.
Pat has been touring with these awesome musicians as a trio since 2003 and playing with Antonio Sanchez with the Pat Metheny Group, a combo created in 1977 with the skinny New-Age genious Lyle Mays on keyboards and that included in several stages musicians like Pedro Aznar on vocals and Mark Egan on bass. At this moment, while you're reading this, Pat is either playing or recording something. He's one of the most prolific jazz artists of the last 30 years and he's been appreciated a lot by the Grammys, having won sixteen so far.
Starting in 2003, Pat restarted his trio format having two incredible jazz musicians whose upbringing was based in R&B and soul. Antonio Sanchez, from Mexico, provides so much punch with the snares, toms and cymbals he actually boosts up the Metheny sound making it more danceable and less skippable in your media player. Christian McBride is so loud and clear in his upstanding bass playing he shines over Pat more than once. They've been touring all over the world and their bootlegs can be found by the dozens at, hey, www.dimeadozen.org. Pat was clearly excited about making a studio album with a trio the same way he did 32 years ago on his debut, Bright Size Life (ECM, 1976), with Jaco Pastorius and Bob Moses. After three years of touring, it was time to put the songs they were introducing every day to new audiences on tape, in a New York recording studio.
Day Trip was recorded in one day and mixed and sequenced to make a coherent album. Nobody's mentioned it, but we suppose is a concept record about the dark ages of travelling and social crisis the U.S. is living under the Bush regime. There's a huge, desolate question on the guitar phrasing of "Is this America? (Katrina 2005)" and this might be the centerpoint of the album. The album cover shows the diversity of a country still discovering itself by trial and error, which is what Pat has been doing but scoring more than failing.
The funky syncopated loops of "When We Were Free" put the trio on the spot, right on front of your speakers and your head. The toms of Sanchez hit you hard and Metheny's "raging elephant" sounds lively and honest. "Calvin's Keys" is a tribute to John Scofield and Wes Montgomery, Pat's most clear influences in his picking.
I'm sure Pat is considering touring with these guys for a long time, and we hope he goes for it. The Pat Metheny Group might not be over yet, though. Lyle Mays and bass player Steve Rodby might be around the corner -next year- to put up another PMG masterpiece. But for now, we're hell of happy with the Pat Metheny Trio.

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