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Pat Metheny Trio at the Ferguson Center for the Arts


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Pat Metheny arrived at Newport News' Ferguson Center for the Arts on a cold and rainy Friday night to an audience willing to brave both the weather and Covid to hear live music again. Traveling with Metheny to promote his new album, Side-Eye NYC (Modern Recordings, 2021), was pianist/keyboardist/organist James Francies (who accompanies Metheny on the album) and New Orleans' drummer Joe Dyson (replacing album member Marcus Gilmore).

The first two songs of the 90-minute set were duets between first Metheny and Dyson then Metheny and Francies. After that the trio played for the rest of the show without a word spoken until the final thank you to the audience. Playing extensively but not exclusively from the new Side Eye album, a mesmerized audience was treated to the in the pocket playing of Metheny and company whether it was it was written material or improvised.

Francies and Dyson are much younger than the experienced 67 year-old Metheny but they certainly left the message that the future of jazz is in good hands. Metheny closed with a solo encore, sitting on a stool alone on the stage, spotlight lighting only him. When the song was over he stood, waved to the audience and disappeared. All the talking that night was through the music.
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