All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

1

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's European Debut of Pat Metheny Commission Highlights Uppsala International Guitar Festival

John Ephland By

Sign in to view read count
There were periods where the music was slow, very deliberate, made up of single lines for each player, often with the others playing in support. Going then from player to player, those single lines became gradually strummed lines, the guitarists moving back and forth between each other. Eventually a pulse in five emerged from a mostly pulse-less music even as the music remained somewhat meditative, followed by two repeated four-note phrases with a bass line, ascending and descending chords with pauses interspersed. Then, as if to give this music inspired by the "great outdoors" a jolt, the quartet engaged in rapid-fire fretboard slides, abruptly muted strumming, scampering, the atonal fret work fields away from anything melodic. This led into more active chording, a robust restatement of the theme only to to be followed by a return to delicacy, each player briefly entering in their own lines imbued by a very slight pulse.

In a number of spots, it appeared that Metheny had left room for some improvisation, the crossfires and transitions by turns both subtle and obvious, the ending of some of the movements clear, others not so. In the end, perhaps the most enjoyable elements of Road To The Sun had to do with how interactive the music was, where certain members laid out while others, or just one, played. One could sense how Metheny had written this music for this group, knowing the strengths of each member. The LAGQ has recorded Road To The Sun. A release date has not been set.

Not that all the LAGQ's music was straightforward, programmatic, let alone orderly. Throughout, there were comments made by members to the audience and a fair amount of playful banter between them. The audience's response at concert's end was heartwarming, leading to two encore pieces, including a kind of slapstick unpacking of Pachelbel's Canon in D was played in a variety of musical styles. A display of this group's stylistic reach in many directions, not to mention a prevailing sense of humor, left this Uppsala crowd calling for more.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen Live Reviews
Black Flower at Moriska Paviliongen
by Patrick Burnette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Fred Frith's solo performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall Live Reviews
Fred Frith's solo performance at the Macedonian...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Brussels Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Brussels Jazz Festival 2018
by Martin Longley
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center Live Reviews
Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre Live Reviews
Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Hitch On 2017 Live Reviews
Hitch On 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Brussels Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Brussels Jazz Festival 2018
by Martin Longley
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Crispell-Fonda-Sorgen Trio Live at The Falcon" Live Reviews Crispell-Fonda-Sorgen Trio Live at The Falcon
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Tierney Sutton Band at the Newman Center" Live Reviews Tierney Sutton Band at the Newman Center
by Geoff Anderson
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "E. J. Strickland Quintet At Scullers Jazz Club" Live Reviews E. J. Strickland Quintet At Scullers Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: October 3, 2017