Pat Metheny, one of the most versatile guitarists of the day, demonstrates once again his penchant for harmonic richness, even minus a full band. This is another of Metheny's solo projects, the last being New Chautauqua
, an underrated gem. One Quiet Night
finds Metheny returning to his Lee's Summit, Missouri roots, where he was influenced by the likes of Miles Davis and a host of jazz and European classical musicians.
The title track begins quietly and then moves into a face-paced, fret-wrenching speed where Metheny hits just about ever note imaginable before he slows back down to gather his thoughts to conclude with an apparent sigh from the energy of the piece.
Metheny tackles the popular Norah Jones song “Don't Know Why” in a manner that simply begs to have Jones' voice overlaid on top. One can only imagine how such a collaboration would have yielded an entirely different result, yet retained a vibe similar to the original.
On “Peace Memory,” Metheny exercises frets while playing around the melody. This cut, in all its emotional attire, is indeed peaceful and melodic. But at the same time it's mysterious and dark, with an edge that commands reflection. Fans know Metheny is constantly stretching boundariesnever satisfied with creating art for art's sakeconsistently attempting to stretch his limits and challenge himself. Let's face it, solo projects entail a considerable amount of risk and few artists venture there for that reason.
“Ferry Cross the Mersey” begins with a deep tone and moves circuitously into a melody that sounds as if birds are chirping and communicating with each other. The clarity and tranquility of this piece reflects the overall project, which has a calming effect.
For fans who relish Pat Metheny Group acoustics, this disc, being a solo project, does not capture those sentiments, nor is it intended to do so. However, for those who enjoy melodic, smooth, and acoustic Metheny, this is the one. The guitarist is very skillful at allowing his audience the flexibility to go where it wants to as he provides the visual/ aural landscape.
Overall, One Quiet Night is just that: a serene, peaceful journey with Metheny as guide. Every so often, an artist feels compelled to create music in his own words that gives the audience a more detailed perspective of his location. This Metheny performance speaks to the audience in a tranquil manner, acoustically and melodically.
Warner Bros. on the web: www.wbjazz.com A> .
This review first appeared in All About Jazz: Los Angeles
Track Listing: One Quiet Night/ Song for the Boys/ Don't
Know Why/ Another Chance/ And Time Goes On/ My
Song/ Peace Memory/ Ferry Cross The Mersey/ Over On
4th Street/ I Will Find The Way/ North to South, East to
West/ Last Train Home
Personnel: Pat Metheny- acoustic guitar
Year Released: 2003
| Record Label: Warner Bros.
| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream