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About this time last year the word came through that guitarist Pat Metheny, in typical chameleonic character, had joined forces with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart for a studio album and some touring in Europe and limited parts of the United States. Both Grenadier and Stewart are several years Metheny's senior, but have been mainstays of the contemporary New York jazz arena and could be expected to bring out new facets of Metheny's musical personality. That's indeed what happened and as stimulating as Trio 99-00 had been, this new two-disc set culled from various live gigs is an even better and far-reaching example of Metheny's mainstream manifesto.
Many of the guitarist's standards, such as "Bright Size Life," "The Bat," and "James," are part of the repertoire, but unlike the studio date there are also several newer compositions and performances that make wider use of Metheny's guitar synthesizer work. "Faith Healer" clocks in at almost 20 minutes and is a mind bending electrified discourse that reminds us that Ornette Coleman's free jazz influences continue to be part and parcel of Metheny's own persona. Making significant statements in their own ways, Grenadier and Stewart help Metheny realize what will undeniably become one of the cornerstones of his varied catalog.
Track Listing: DISC ONE Bright Size Life, Question and Answer, Giant Steps, Into the Dream, So May It Secretly Begin, The Bat, All the Things You Are DISC TWO James, Unity Village, Soul Cowboy, Night Turns Into Day, Faith Healer, Counting Texas
Personnel: Pat Metheny (guitar), Larry Grenadier (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)