554

Pat Metheny & Anna Maria Jopek: Upojenie

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Metheny & Anna Maria Jopek: Upojenie An oddity this one, even within the variegated discography of Pat Metheny. It features the guitarist alongside Polish singer Anna Maria Jopek and a group of mostly Polish musicians, recorded in Warsaw during 2002. Half the set features lyricised and re-titled versions of Metheny compositions, sung in Polish; the other half are originals composed in the main by Jopek and her husband, Marcin Kydrynski, plus a couple of traditional Polish tunes. Originally released in Poland, where it has sold upwards of 100,000 copies, the album has now been released internationally, with the addition of three bonus tracks (two of them live) and a newly put together, English language liner booklet including full musician credits and translations of the lyrics.



Metheny met Jopek at a jazz festival in 2001, when the singer approached him with the concept for the album. Over the next few months, Metheny familiarised himself with Jopek's recordings, fell in love with her voice and decided to proceed with the project. Upojenie—which means ecstasy in English, but which to Poles also implies a degree of darkness—was recorded between July and October the following year.



Stylistically, the album sits closer to Metheny's layered and intricately produced work with the Pat Metheny Group than it does to his straight-ahead recordings with acoustic trios and quartets. Individual track line-ups are more or less evenly divided between eight to 11 piece electric groups and smaller electro-acoustic settings. Yet even the latter are meticulously post-produced and Jopek's multi-layered vocals give them a rich sheen akin to the electric tracks.

The degree to which members of Metheny's straight-ahead constituency will enjoy Upojenie will depend on how much they enjoy singers and how much they enjoy Metheny, as a composer and improviser, at his most blissed-out and supra-lyrical. On its own terms, the album is a charming, at times magical, confection of ethereal music, by no means ambient or background, but with a mellifluous, soothing vibe, in which PMG keyboardist Lyle Mays' lush lines are channelled through the playing of pianists and keyboardists Leszek Mozdzer, Pawel Bzim Zarecki and Maateusz Pospiezalski.



The standout track is coincidentally the longest, an 8:35 version of Metheny and Mays' "Are You Going With Me?". It's essentially an instrumental, with Jopek's wordless vocals providing color and texture. The main interest is Metheny's soaring, extended solo on Roland guitar synthesizer, which begins by close-referencing his solo on PMG's Travels (ECM, 1982) and concludes riding the tune's alchemical bass riff/hook, irresistibly delivered by Marcin Pospiezalski's Fender jazz bass and several keyboardists. It rocks.



About as far away as you can get from Metheny's "pure" jazz discography, let alone his work with saxophonist Ornette Coleman or his oeuvre, Upojenie is a curious one alright, but one the guitarist's fans will find well worth checking out.



Visit Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek on the web.

Track Listing: Cichy Zapada Zmrok (Here Comes the Silent Dusk); Mania Mienia (So May It Secretly Begin); Biel (Witness); Przyplw, Odplyw, Oddech Czasu (Tell Her You Saw Me); Are You Going With Me?; Czarne Slowa (Black Words); Lulajze Jezuniu (Polish Christmas Carol); Upojenie (Ecstasy); Zupelnie inna Ja (Always and Forever); Piosenka Dla Stasia (A Song for Stas); Letter From Home; Me Jedyne Niebo (Another Life); By On Byl Tu (Farmer's Trust); Polskie Drogi (Polish Paths); Tam, Gdzie Nie Siega Wzrok (Follow Me); Na Calej Polaci Snieg (The Snow Falls All Over the Place); Szepty I Lzy (Whispers and Tears).

Personnel: Pat Metheny: 42 string Pikasso guitar (1, 6), electric guitar (2, 8), baritone guitar (3, 9), classical guitar (3, 7, 13), soprano guitar (4, 14), Roland guitar synthesizer (5, 6, 12), keyboards (5, 10), acoustic guitars (6, 10, 15), guitar synth (17), soprano acoustic guitar (16, 17); Anna Maria Jopek: voices (1-10, 12, 13, 15-17), choirs (4), "soap opera" vocals (5), backing vocals (6, 8, 12, 15), Fender Rhodes (6); Leszek Mozdzer: piano (2, 4-8, 11, 13, 15, 17), Pawel Bzim Zarecki: keyboards (2, 4-6, 8, 12, 15, 17), percussion (4), loops (4, 5), keyboard programming (10); Bernard Maseli: vibes (2); Darek Oleszkiewicz: acoustic bass (2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12-14); Cezary Konrad: drums (2, 4-8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17); Piotr Nazaruk: backing vocals (2), recorder (2), flute (4-6, 15), additional shaker (4), hammered dulcimer (5), additional male voices (15); Wojeich Kowalewski: shakers (2, 4-6, 15), temple blocks (2, 6), timpani (4), crotales (4, 6, 12), bongos (4, 6), tambourine (5), bells (5), vibraslap (5, 12), congas (6), claves (6); Mateusz Pospieszalski: keyboards (2), loops (2, 12), orchestral chart (2, 12), conductor (2, 12); Marek Pospieszalski: turntables (2), classical guitar (8); String Ensemble: strings (2, 12); Marcin Pospieszalski: Fender jazz bass (5, 6, 15), loops (15); Henryk Miskiewicz: soprano saxophone (8, 9); Mino Cinelu: udu drum (8), triangle (8), shakers (8, 12), crotales (8), conga (12), wavedrum (12), percussion (17); Marek Napiorkowski: classical guitar (8), strumming guitar (17); Robert Kubiszyn: double-bass (17).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Feather" CD/LP/Track Review Feather
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by John Ephland
Published: October 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!