Friday Night Jazz: Metheny Mehldau

MethmehlPat Metheny is one of those guitarists that was always interesting, but he never really floated my boat. His style is kinda New Age-y, a bit too cold/technique focused for my preferences. I can see why some people say he is an acquired taste.

However, a friend in the music industry (with meticulous taste) had recommended his latest album with pianist Brad Mehldau (Metheny Mehldau Quartet) to me, and on his suggestion, I gave it a whirl. 

It is a delightful surprise.

It is an eclectic disc, ranging from a mix of jazz fusion, acoustic, Celtic, pop, Asian-tinged (41 string guitars!) to Brazilian music. Somehow, this odd and always changing mix seems to work on nearly every track.

This is the second pairing of Metheny and Mehldau colloboration, the first being Metheny/Mehldau.
The pairing works well. Mehldau brings a degree of warmth and intimacy
often missing from more traditional Metheny recordings.   

Metheny frequently returns to his earlier electric jazz guitar style, but it seems to work so much better in this quarter than any previous work I’ve heard from him. Its worth checking out.


For those interested in how this pairing came about, there is a two part interview with Metheny and Mehldau after the jump . . .

Interview Part I

Part II

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. howard commented on May 18

    barry, you might check out metheny’s now 20-year-old collaboration with ornette coleman, song x.

  2. shawn commented on May 18

    Ops. Another famous bear Dow theorist Tim Wood has also thrown in the towel today. I really think the bears are close to extinction, and it is this thought that keep me from throwing in the towel.

    But I may be wrong for another 20 years?!

    It is soooooo hard to fight the FED. So Hard.


    BR: Fight the Fed?

    They haven’t done anything for a year, and they were raising for the 30 months before that. What would fighting THAT consist of ?

  3. RW commented on May 19

    Done nothing BR? AFAIK the Fed and virtually every other central bank in the developed world, Japan in particular, has had the money supply spigot wide open throughout, never mind what interest rates they try to set; money/credit is ripping through a global economic system designed for 20th century velocity like Naga Jolokia crap through the intestines of a decrepit goose, the only question is whether it blows the liver up into pâte before it tears the cloaca apart on the way to monetized fertilizer.

    Thanks goodness for music like Metheny/Mehldau (and Madeleine Peyroux too) to quiet the spirit while donning gasmask, gloves and mucking boots.


    BR No argument from me about THAT.

    I’ve always thought the statement don’t fight the Fed was a reference to rate changes — but you raise a valid point

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