238

Pat Metheny: Day Trip

J Hunter By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Metheny: Day Trip Although Pat Metheny gets top billing on Day Trip, this is not a one-off superstar meetup, a la 80/81 (ECM, 1980), Question and Answer (Geffen Records, 1990), and I Can See Your House from Here (Blue Note, 1993). Metheny has toured with Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez, on and off, for the past few years; on Metheny's Web site, the group is called the Pat Metheny Trio. Nonesuch may have billed Day Trip the way it did, in order to avoid confusion or backlash. While confusion might have ensued, any backlash would have been minimized by the outstanding performances on this enticing disc.

"Son of Thirteen" launches Day Trip on an up-tempo note, but instead of hitting it at flag-waving volume, the group chooses to focus on detail and intimacy. Sanchez is busy as all get out, bringing depth to the piece as he bubbles under Metheny's impeccable guitar and McBride's sterling foundation. Sanchez' solo at the end of "Thirteen" builds and builds over Metheny and McBride's comping until you think Sanchez will burst; and yet, Sanchez resists sending the piece's nuanced attack off the tracks.

This trio is certainly capable of turning it up to 11, as it does on the reggae-rocker "The Red One." There's even a sighting of Metheny's dreaded synth-guitar on the bluesy, urban "When We Were Free." But those moments wouldn't be as powerful as they are if the band had cranked it on every cut. Sanchez' booming solo on "Red" is a definite crowd-pleaser, but it's even better because he chose only to intimate that power earlier in the disc. "Let's Move" is even more aggressive than "Thirteen," thanks to its complicated, split-second time changes. But because the band isn't hitting the listener over the head, the tune's content can be better appreciated.

Despite the date's impressive group aesthetic, there are good reasons for putting Metheny at the top of the bill: Aside from the fact that he does his best Wes Montgomery on the lion's share of the solos, all the music comes from Metheny's pen, and the compositions are some of his best. "Snova" is a lilting bossa that evokes Charlie Byrd's work with Stan Getz; the spiritual "Is This America (Katrina 2005)" puts the after-effects of this country's biggest natural disaster into stark relief, and if Metheny's emotional acoustic guitar doesn't get you, McBride's mournful bowing will do the job. As always, McBride shines like a beacon. His sliding solo on the sauntering "Calvin's Keys" is nothing but fun and his break on "Dreaming Trees" is marvelously lyrical.

For better or worse, Metheny will never get completely away from the Pat Metheny Group; its footprint—and its fan base—is just too big. Those fans may see Day Trip as just another side project. However, given the exceptional results Metheny has achieved with this new musical partnership, Metheny might be tempted to make this vacation from PMG a little longer than usual.

Track Listing: Son of Thirteen; At Last You

Personnel: Pat Metheny: guitar; Christian McBride: acoustic bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Meditations" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Spirit Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Spirit Forward
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!