All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

366

Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up

Eddie Becton By

Sign in to view read count
The Way Up marks guitarist Pat Metheny's debut release on the Nonesuch label. Metheny fans are in for treat, 68 uninterrupted minutes of pure Pat Metheny Group, inconspicuously evident upon recognizing the CD's four tracks, "Opening," "Part One," "Part Two," and "Part Three." Each movement, appropriately called because every track aside from "Opening" ranges from 15 minutes to over 25, builds upon its predecessor and paints a colorful mural of the group's mission.

"Opening" is classic Metheny, i.e., acoustic, passionate, and lyrically appealing. The track incorporates a collage of percussionist rhythms that flow right into successive sections of the entire disc. "Part One" clocks-in at just over 26 minutes. The sheer length of the track could easily classify it as a movement, indicative of Metheny's penchant for stretching boundaries and willingness to venture into uncharted avenues. In this case, that perspective works very well, as Metheny tells several stories within this part of the overall album. While "Part Two" registers just over 20 minutes and "Part Three" just under 16, each component of the songs build a sense of anticipation for what's to come, which make for a sequential flow of unobtrusive storytelling, the consummate aural landscape.

Further, while The Way Up is signature Metheny, commendation is in order to Antonio Sanchez (drums), Cuong Vu (trumpet, voice), Richard Bona and David Samuels (percussion), and Gregoire Maret (harmonica). Metheny's long-time collaborator, Lyle Mays (acoustic piano, keyboards) and Steve Rodby (acoustic and electric bass, cello) remain staples of the band and, as expected, provide their usual foray of robust accoutrements.

For Metheny fans, The Way Up will be a welcome addition to their collections, particularly since group incorporates rhythms from past works, but also includes new interpretations of Metheny's signature sound on acoustic, electric, slide and synthesizer guitars. Analogously, The Way Up is a non-stop accumulation, with a fresh twist, of Metheny's classic albums. Make no mistake, however, The Way Up is not a perfunctory adaptation of past "hits." To the contrary, it's fresh, melodious, and aurally sweet, thanks in large part to the group's harmonic congruence and acute sense of phrasing/space throughout the movements. To the behest of some, Metheny has again successfully eluded classification, continuously striving for excellence while refusing to be pigeonholed into categorical reference. Undoubtedly, The Way Up will help secure the Pat Metheny Group's status as a cornerstone of music's most innovative, lyrically astute bands that defies descriptors.


Track Listing: Opening, Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Personnel: Pat Metheny: (acoustic, electric, synth and slide guitars), Lyle Mays: (acoustic piano, keyboards), Steve Rodby: (acoustic and electric bass, cello), Cuong Vu: (trumpet, voice), Gregoire Maret: (harmonica), Antonio Sanchez: (drums)
with Richard Bona: (percussion, voice), David Samuels: (percussion)

Title: The Way Up | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read (Willisau) 1991 Studio CD/LP/Track Review
(Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Tradition CD/LP/Track Review
Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Life Anthem CD/LP/Track Review
Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Closer To Home CD/LP/Track Review
Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Combsy" CD/LP/Track Review Combsy
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere" CD/LP/Track Review Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Steamdome" CD/LP/Track Review Steamdome
by Chris May
Published: June 13, 2018
Read "Deuce" CD/LP/Track Review Deuce
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 8, 2018
Read "Songs Without Words" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Without Words
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "At synge verden ind i en ny og mangefoldet tid" CD/LP/Track Review At synge verden ind i en ny og mangefoldet tid
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 13, 2018