Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
467

Pat Metheny w/ Dave Holland and Roy Haynes: Question and Answer

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Metheny w/ Dave Holland and Roy Haynes: Question and Answer Question and Answer is the second in a glittering, altogether too infrequent series of albums guitarist Pat Metheny has recorded in acoustic trio settings, usually on the hoof and with little post-production, which act as a counterweight to his more elaborate work with larger line-ups. Recorded in 1989 and originally released on Geffen, it's been immaculately remastered for this Nonesuch reissue.



The first of Metheny's trio albums was Rejoicing (ECM, 1983), with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins. The third and fourth were Trio 99-00 (Warner Bros, 1999), with bassist FLY and drummer Bill Stewart, and Day Trip (Nonesuch, 2008), with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez.



If the established frequency is maintained, we can expect Metheny's fifth trio release round about 2017. Most jazz guitar fans would agree such a timeline amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution. But Metheny presumably believes that his variegated discography—for something at the other end of the spectrum check out Upojenie (Nonesuch, 2008), a collaboration with the Polish singer Anna Maria Jopek, which has been reissued simultaneously with Question and Answer—permits no greater frequency.



Attempting to rate one of the trio albums as "the best" would be a meaningless exercise; such is the uniformly incandescent quality of the music involved. But anyone nominating Question and Answer would likely have in mind the contribution of drummer Roy Haynes, which is supremely powerful magic—sensitive, sophisticated and responsive but also fat, mighty and propulsive. The sound of Haynes' kit is burnished to perfection on the remaster, and his performance fully justifies its inclusion alongside Metheny's at the front of the mix. Whether driving the band, counterpointing Metheny's solos or swopping quicksilver, viscerally thrilling choruses with him, Haynes is just heavenly.



A close to venerable 64 when the album was recorded, and still kicking 19 years later, Haynes' career is summarized on the 3-CD retrospective A Life In Time (Dreyfus, 2008).



Add bassist Dave Holland, not as prominent as either Metheny or Haynes in the mix, but shining alongside them as soloist, and you have another magnificent Metheny trio line-up.



Recorded over a single day in December, 1989, the only track which deviates from the trio series' what-you-hear-is-what-you-get aesthetic is the closing "Three Flights Up," on which Metheny overdubbed Synclavier for a more layered sound. The pace is brisk going on jet-speed, with the exception of Metheny's "Never Too Far Away" and "Change Of Heart" (which won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition), both of which take a slower, more reflective route. There are five Metheny originals altogether, plus Miles Davis' "Solar" and Ornette Coleman's "Law Years," and two standards (Hill and Robinson's "Old Folks," taken at a sprightly step, and Kern and Hammerstein's "All The Things You Are," an elegant gallop).



A whirlwind of an affair, invigorating and exquisite; a masterpiece of the first order.


Track Listing: Solar; Question and Answer; H and H; Never Too Far Away; Law Years; Change of Heart; All The Things You Are; Old Folks; Three Flights Up.

Personnel: Pat Metheny: electric guitar, Sinclavier (9); Dave Holland: bass; Roy Haynes: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
What is Jazz?
Live Reviews
DVD/Film Reviews
Read more articles
The Unity Sessions
The Unity Sessions
Nonesuch Records
2016
buy
The Unity Sessions
The Unity Sessions
Eagle Eye Media
2015
buy
Kin (<—>)
Kin (<—>)
Nonesuch Records
2014
buy
Tap - John Zorn's Book Of Angels | Vol. 20
Tap - John Zorn's...
Nonesuch Records
2013
buy
Unity Band
Unity Band
Nonesuch Records
2012
buy
What's It All About
What's It All About
Nonesuch Records
2011
buy
Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius
bass, electric
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Pat Martino Pat Martino
guitar
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
guitar
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Mike Stern Mike Stern
guitar
Lyle Mays Lyle Mays
keyboard

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: Motéma Music | BUY IT  

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.