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Live Reviews

March 11, 2014

Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Paramount Theater, Denver, March 7, 2014

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Pat Metheny Unity Group Paramount Theater Denver, CO March 7, 2014 The Group is back. Sort of. For virtually his entire career, Pat Metheny has bounced back and forth between the highly successful Pat Metheny Group and a wide array of projects under his own name. Ever since the Group's eponymous 1978 release, the personnel in the Pat Metheny Group constantly evolved. Besides Metheny, however, one player remained constant: keyboard player Lyle Mays; i.e.: no Mays, no PMG. The last Pat Metheny Group album was The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005). Mays and Metheny haven't recorded ...

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September 28, 2012

Pat Metheny Unity Band: Denver, CO, September 7, 2012

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Pat Metheny Unity BandBotanic GardensDenver, COSeptember 7, 2012Pat Metheny is restless. And we're all the richer for it. Over a career that is now pushing 40 years, Metheny has been a constant innovator, not only in the development of musical styles, but new sounds as well, going so far as to invent new musical instruments to help him push, and sometimes explode, sonic boundaries. Now on tour with his Unity Band, Metheny showcased many of his discoveries and inventions at Denver's Botanic Gardens.The Unity Band marks the first time Metheny has had a ...

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August 20, 2012

Pat Metheny Unity Band: Kennett Square, PA, August 9, 2012

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Pat Metheny Unity BandLongwood GardensKennett Square, PennsylvaniaAugust 9, 2012Over the past few years Longwood Gardens, a horticultural conservancy located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, has hosted a wide variety of international musical talent. Situated in a wooded area of Kennett Square, the conservancy offers multiple performance venues in a beautiful, bucolic setting conveniently located near Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Three days before his 58th birthday (August 12, 2012), Pat Metheny brought his critically acclaimed Unity Band to the Gardens' Open Air Theater, offering a dynamic show that encapsulated everything the renowned guitarist has to offer, from ...

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November 4, 2010

Pat Metheny: Orchestrion Tour, Binghamton University October 19, 2010

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Pat MethenyAnderson Center for the Performing Arts, Osterhout Theater, Binghamton UniversityBinghamton, New YorkOctober 19, 2010 Guitarist Pat Metheny's mastery of the intricacies of his Orchestrion was on dazzling display Tuesday evening, October 19, 2010, at the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts, Osterhout Theater, on the campus of Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. The concert was a homecoming of sorts, as the guitarist returned to the upstate New York town after a decade long break of playing Binghamton gigs twice a year with his Pat Metheny Group.Ceaseless creativity and the desire ...

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October 23, 2010

Pat Metheny: Orchestrion Tour, Montreal

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Pat MethenyOrchestrion TourPlace des ArtsMontreal, CanadaOctober 12, 2010 Curiosity. More than anything else it was this that made guitarist/composer Pat Metheny's Orchestrion Tour concert at Montreal's Place des Arts complex (another stop on his successful 120-plus major-cities world tour) something to truly anticipate. I can't claim being a true Metheny fan, my leanings are more towards Bill Frisell, but, while Metheny's compositional style speaks far less to me than to others, I do have a deep respect for his inventiveness and sheer virtuosity, as well as for anyone who can ...

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October 19, 2010

Pat Metheny: The Orchestrion Project Live at The Flynn Burington VT

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Pat MethenyFlynn Center for the Performing ArtsBurlington, VermontOctober 5, 2010 Pat Metheny as one-man band? As mad scientist? As master innovator/musician of the (not-so) new millennium? All those thoughts and perceptions came to mind during the two-plus hours the Missouri-born guitarist and composer turned the MainStage of the Flynn Center for The Performing Arts into a combination of laboratory and classroom.In all the years Metheny has appeared at the Flynn-eighteen times total as related by artistic director Arne Malina during his halting introduction--he has never appeared solo. Thus, that prospect alone might have ...

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May 19, 2010

Pat Metheny, Orchestrion Tour in Denver

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Pat Metheny Paramount Theater Denver, CO May 5, 2010

“Because it's there." That's the classic answer to the question of why climb the big mountain. That's pretty close to the explanation for Pat Metheny's current Orchestrion tour. He's taken the concept of the one-man-band to heights never dreamed of by buskers and carnival acts and built a giant musical machine with more instruments than The Music Man, Harold Hill, sold in his life. It appears the challenge Metheny saw was whether he could actually build this machine he had envisioned and make it work. ...

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February 15, 2010

Pat Metheny Orchestrion Tour: Soaring in the Netherlands

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Pat Metheny Orchestrion Frits Philips Music Center Eindhoven, Netherlands February 12, 2010 How much soul can you get from a solenoid? Plenty, if you're guitarist--and now orchestrion arranger--Pat Metheny.

Soul had been the subject separating hope from hype as Metheny's Orchestrion Tour started to roll across Europe. News coverage of Metheny's recently released album--Orchestrion (Nonesuch, 2010)--provided considerable marketing impetus and Metheny's instincts have taken it from there. This is a project where masterful mechanics are both noun and verb. Despite an abundance of media coverage regarding the album, ...

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November 10, 2007

Pat Metheny Trio in Concert: Bright Lights in Vermont

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Pat Metheny Trio Flynn Center for The Performing Arts Burlington, Vermont October 19, 2007

It's always enlightening to see Pat Metheny perform live but perhaps never more so than on his current tour. With drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Christina McBride, the Missouri native is one of three brilliant equals when he takes the stage as he did in Vermont on this October night.

The compositional aspect of Metheny's work that prevails with his various groups--and even to a lesser extent in his recent collaboration with pianist Brad Mehldau--takes a back seat to ...

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May 6, 2007

Metheny-Mehldau: Playing (Mostly) Together in Boston

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Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau The Opera House Boston, Massachusetts April 14, 2007

More than one attendee might've been ambivalent while seeing Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau perform at The Opera House in Boston April 14th. Two hours of impeccable musicianship rendered with formidable technique nevertheless contained the same relative strengths and weaknesses exhibited in the pair of Metheny-Mehldau CDs released on Nonesuch over the past few months.

No question there is an uncommon camaraderie at work between Metheny and Mehldau. This uncanny dynamic couldn't have been more palpable in the opening numbers on ...

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October 18, 2005

Pat Metheny Trio + 1

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Pat Metheny Trio + 1 Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan) October 8, 2005

Not letting any grass grow under his feet, Pat Metheny wasted no time after wrapping up a tour in support of the group album The Way Up before hitting the road again with his trio. First getting together with bassist Christian McBride and regular drummer Antonio Sanchez in 2003, Metheny has reunited with these master musicians in addition to saxophonist David Sanchez for a 44-show sojourn of which this show in Ann Arbor marked about the half way point of the tour.

Of ...

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October 13, 2005

Pat Metheny Trio+1: First Stop Seattle

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Pat Metheny Trio+1 September 7, 2005 Jazz Alley Seattle, WASeptember 7-9, Jazz Alley hosted the first stop of Pat Metheny's current Trio+1 tour. Playing for the first time at Seattle's longest running jazz club (3rd internationally), Metheny performed six sold-out shows along with band members Christian McBride, Antonio Sanchez, and David Sanchez. I caught the second set of the first night of performances.SOLOThe evening started with Metheny finger-picking solo guitar to his composition “Last Train Home. The buzz in the air that Metheny often brings with much anticipation from the audience ...

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October 5, 2005

Pat Metheny Trio at Chicago Symphony Center


Pat Metheny Trio Symphony Center, Chicago September 30, 2005The Chicago Symphony Center's 2005/2006 Jazz at Symphony Center season came to an auspicious beginning as perhaps the biggest name in jazz music, guitarist Pat Metheny, brought the newest version of his trio to the ornate, acoustically impeccable Center. Metheny's last album, the Pat Metheny Group's wonderful The Way Up, was his best Metheny Group recording in some time, but the band's tour seemed to play every city on the earth in a concert milieu that, in its pyrotechnical heft and grandeur, left little to chance. It ...

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February 24, 2005

The Way Up to the Green Mountains: The Pat Metheny Group Live


To his enormous credit as a musician, Pat Metheny has become more rather than less interesting as his career has developed. New Agey sounds have taken the place of airy Brazilian textures (the forgettable likes of which closed this February 15th show) while his work in studio and on the road has left him wholly unpredictable.

Fascinatingly, in the last few years, the disparity between The Pat Metheny Group projects and the guitarist/composer's more straight-ahead jazz endeavors has narrowed considerably and, despite the ambitious project that comprise PMG's new album, The Way Up , the performance at Johnson State ...

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