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Hmmm, I'll start with telling you.. you're right on with the 2008 top. I'll be sitting front row at Yoshi's in San Fran next month to see these three heros show us all how it's done.. If Grammy's aren't being thrown at him from every angle I'm afraid the world has reached its end.Now, did you really say that Pat is "too sophisticated a stylist to get down and nasty with total conviction"?Maybe you haven't seen pat play live? (I know, sounds crazy to me too).. Come on now... That's just silly.. "Are you going with me" has got to have some of the get down dirtiest stuff every played on the fretboard.. Just because he's more quiet than the other guitar Primo Donnas out there doesn't mean they can even carry his case..
I understand your point, but as a longtime Metheny fan (since 1974, when I first heard him on Gary Burton's Ring, the one place I've found him a little lacking is on the gritty side. For many years I felt he couldn't really even bend a note convincingly (and if you listen to his early work he rarely, if ever, did so).
It's begun to change in recent years - I think that the first time I thought otherwise was when I heard him on Gary Thomas' remarkable Til We Have Faces. I remember hearing a track in a store, not knowing who/what it was, and going "geez, that sounds like Metheny, but when did he suddenly get some grit?" Not just his tone, which was overdriven, but his approach. And since then he has some notable places where he does, indeed, get down and at least a little nasty - "Half Life of Absolution" on The Road to You, "Roots of Coincidence" on Imaginary Day being two that come to mind immediately.
That said, I do understand what Chris is getting at. Even on those notable tracks, Metheny comes from a place of greater harmonic sophistication that makes even his gritter playing less edgy than, say, Scofield, who clearly has an equally sophisticated language, but also has some very real roots in R&B and blues that Metheny doesn't.
And that's not a criticism, it's simply an acknowledgment. Metheny remains one of my favorite and most consistent guitarists. But I do get where Chris is coming from. "Are You Going With Me" is absolutely intense and a great vehicle for some pretty expressive playing, both on disc and the many times I've seen him live; but I think the difference is that I'd consider that playing extremely evocative and emotionally intense, but not down and nasty.
Not sure if this is any kind of clarification, but I'm listening to Day Trip right now, and I love the disc - but, like Chris, I think a couple of minor missteps prevent it from being a classic, though it's pretty damn close.
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Jane Ira Bloom
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