Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pat Metheny

Pat MethenyImage via Wikipedia
Pat Metheny was born 55-yers ago in Lee's Summit, Missouri...a suburb near Kansas City.  After graduating from high school he moved to Florida to study music at the University of Miami, but left during his first semester. He was actually offered a teaching position soon afterward, but Metheny always knew in his heart that he was meant to play...not teach!
By the age of 20 he was on his way to becoming one of the most prominant and successful jazz guitarists of the 1970's and 80's, recording and touring throughout the world with his band 'The Pat Metheny Band'.
In 1975 Metheny joined vibraphonist Gary Burton, and recorded 'Bright Size Life', with bassist Jaco Pastorius and Drummer Bob Moses. The next track 'Watercolors' featured pianist Lyle Mays, who would co-write many songs with Metheny.
Their alliance with bassist Mark Egan and drummer Dan Gottlieb solidified 'The Pat Metheny Band'... which was also the title of their first album. 14 more would follow over the next 25 years, as the band toured the world, offering the unique sound of Metheny's Gibson ES-175 guitar.  Also featured were Mays' Oberheim and Sequential Circuit synthesizers, and Steinway piano. .
Metheny also ventured in other directions, releasing solo, trio, quartet, and duet recordings with musicians such as Jim Hall, Dave Holland, Roy Haynes, Toninho Horta, Chick Corea, Pedro Aznar, Herbie Hancock, John Schofield, and Joni Mitchell.
He even participated in side projects with performers like Omette Coleman, Nordic Jazz players Ulf Wakenius, E.S.T.,and Nils Landgren. Pat also played with female greats Silje Nergaard, Noa, and Ana Maria Jopek.
As for the guitar, Metheny not only continued the jazz tradition, but borrowed other tones, and made many unique alterations using the 12-String Electric, hollow-bodied Six-String Electric, and heavily used Roland guitar synthesizer. He even continues to play a custom-made Pikasso-1 42-String guitar built by Canadian Luthier Linda Manzer...who hand-made many acoustic guitars for Metheny.... including  the 'Sitar', 'Baritone', and 'Mini' guitars.
Metheny's earliest influence was Wes Montgomery, and his album 'Impressions:The Verve Jazz Sides"...which Metheny says taught him how to play!  Other inspired were Jim Hall, Joe Diorio, Kenny Burrell, and Joe Pass, as well as rockers Eddie Van Halen and Windham Hill. He's also a fan of Pop stars James Taylor, Bruce Hornsby, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles.
But, Metheny's most powerful inspiration actually came from Brazilian Music--both the Euro-influenced Jazz sound of the' Bassa Nova', and the rhythmic Afro-Brazilian sounds of Northeast Brazil...where Pat has both lived and performed at different times. 
However, no matter where Pat Metheny plays, his unique style is enjoyed and loved by jazz listeners all over the world.
Thanks, and keep listening....

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