― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 19:59 (10 years ago) Permalink
― teeny (teeny), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 20:02 (10 years ago) Permalink
― phil jones (interstar), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:25 (10 years ago) Permalink
i will confess to being slightly influenced by him during my short-lived career as a failed jazz guitar prodigy. i really liked the 'i can see your house from here' disc he did with john scofield (also a wanker).
ultimately i'd really like to see what would happen if we got pat methany and thurston moore to do a Duets album ...
― fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
If you've heard Zero Tolerance For Silence, you'd fear that it would kind of suck.
I don't know. Yes, he's got some really cheesy stuff that my dentist would probably object to. Yes, he has big, funny hair. And yes, he wears that same striped shirt in every photo of him ever taken.
But he's also done a number of really interesting things, like a lot of the guitar synth stuff on Offramp and his straight ahead records with Ornette's group. Or his record with Ornette, for that matter.
Though I understand that the powerful oranges and yellows of cheese can be a bit blinding to all that.
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:52 (10 years ago) Permalink
― gaz (gaz), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:58 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 22:04 (10 years ago) Permalink
― arjun (arjun), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 22:17 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 22:27 (10 years ago) Permalink
― kephm (kephm), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:20 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:29 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Austin Still (Austin, Still), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:32 (7 years ago) Permalink
Metheny gets beat up here b/c of the hair and the fact that his most syrupy stuff sells so well. But the best of his ECM stuff is among the label's finest and his sense of melody is peerless.
Indeed, the guy has made a handful of GREAT records -- his early-80s ECM stuff is chock full of wonderful moments, many electronic: the opening and Ornette-on-guitar-synth title tracks of Offramp, the just reissued Song X on which he duets with Ornette on guitar synth. And the weirdest, most beautific one, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, which sits somewhere between post-Evans jazz, New Age and a sort of bossa-nova Vangelis -- it's excellent.
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:43 (7 years ago) Permalink
Seconded that As Falls Wichita is strange, and frequently awesome.
I've never listened to much of his noise work but it always seems to be a tantrum - "Hey, I can do this shit too!" Granted the guy has serious chops, and he could probably do some interesting work in free improv, but he's held back by the context. I saw him live once on the Secret Story, and halfway through the show he sat down for some solo acoustic guitar. Everyone was like, "Ah, this'll be pretty." He lifted his hand, got ready to play, and then just SLAMMED out some random chords for about a minute or two, pissing off everybody in the theater, until he segued to something from the album. It didn't "work" but it was a good joke.
― save the robot (save the robot), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:53 (7 years ago) Permalink
― kephm (kephm), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:54 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 31 December 2005 03:59 (7 years ago) Permalink
(Or at least they used Windham Hill.)
― save the robot (save the robot), Saturday, 31 December 2005 04:11 (7 years ago) Permalink
― save the robot (save the robot), Saturday, 31 December 2005 04:13 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Sundar (sundar), Saturday, 31 December 2005 04:18 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Sundar (sundar), Saturday, 31 December 2005 04:19 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Keith C (lync0), Saturday, 31 December 2005 04:52 (7 years ago) Permalink
STR is OTM, as it were, with Bright Sized Life -- Metheny's guitar tone is creamy as hell, but there's some edge there. Also, it's not all terrific but for texturally pleasing Metheny w/o much in the way of "jazz", New Chatauqua has some really purdy stuff. Same goes for Watercolors, which features a boatload of Eberhard Weber in all his fretless bass beauty...
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 31 December 2005 06:12 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Saturday, 31 December 2005 06:38 (7 years ago) Permalink
Ha. That's the only Metheny I know, so I came into this thread thinking "Classic, duh." I've been warned off of other albums, and never really pursued him, but AFWSFWF is genius. I had no idea until recently that the rest of his stuff was crap...
― js (honestengine), Saturday, 31 December 2005 06:44 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Cliftonb, Saturday, 31 December 2005 07:51 (7 years ago) Permalink
You might wanna check out Offramp as well. The opening track is this very spacious padded out bossa-nova until right near the end, where Metheny explodes into this atonal guitar synth mess. It's pretty fantastic and a great lead into "Are You Going With Me" which is one of his great epics from the period...
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 31 December 2005 08:20 (7 years ago) Permalink
I've just got the reissue of American Garage, which is pretty cheesy, but WONDERFUL! It's all roadtrips as a child for me, so there's that nostalgia, but also the delightful comfort of knowing the melodies as they build. The album is all varying shades of build-up and climax, in a fairly unabashed sense, and there's a lot of joy to be found in such craft, for me.
― derrick (derrick), Saturday, 31 December 2005 10:12 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Haikunym (Haikunym), Saturday, 31 December 2005 15:53 (7 years ago) Permalink
― the baconian dynasticist, Saturday, 31 December 2005 18:31 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 1 January 2006 03:11 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Mr Straight Toxic (ghostface), Sunday, 1 January 2006 04:38 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Mr Straight Toxic (ghostface), Sunday, 1 January 2006 04:48 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Dan I. (Dan I.), Saturday, 15 April 2006 06:31 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Dan I. (Dan I.), Saturday, 15 April 2006 06:35 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Dan I. (Dan I.), Saturday, 15 April 2006 06:40 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Dan I. (Dan I.), Saturday, 15 April 2006 06:43 (7 years ago) Permalink
I am totally a fan right now! this guy is a freak! I only own Zero Tolerance cuz I'm a SY fan, but ok, right, I see thee error etc etc
I currently have "Question and Answer", "Bright Sized Life", "Trio 99-00", and the expanded "Song X" in my Amazon.com Wish List right now...
he is totally the real deal. i will make amend for any Metheny hate I ever spouted. very smart guy, very great player. organizes good bands and gets the job done.. I'm suddenly a fan! i love when that happens
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 15 April 2006 08:34 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 15 April 2006 08:35 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Keith C (lync0), Saturday, 15 April 2006 14:49 (7 years ago) Permalink
Despite myself I put on (Still Life) Talking when I got off the graveyard shift the other day.
I have a bunch of his records that I'm hanging onto in hopes that one day I'll learn to appreciate him. Liked "Song X" right away though.
― BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 26 November 2007 17:06 (5 years ago) Permalink
The actual Pat Metheny Group is full of cheese, but whenever he gets into a combo situation with his peers (or elders) he reminds me how good he is. Search Bright Size Life, all his trio records ala Dave Holland/Roy Haynes and Billy Higgins/Charlie Haden(?), and Gary Burton's 'Like Minds' with Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Roy Haynes that is my personal favorite Metheny appearance.
-- Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, January 22, 2003 5:27 PM (4 years ago)
otm. He is OK on the Abbey Lincoln record he plays on with these kinds of guys.
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Monday, 26 November 2007 17:11 (5 years ago) Permalink
Forget Metheny's "noise" stuff. I was listening to Travels the other day -- and again, what a great period that was for him, where the group exists in this lazy, floating, electro-nova plane. It opens with "Are You Going With Me?" where Mays does some wonderful textural stuff, before Metheny comes in on his guitar synth and absolutely goes BERSERK to orgiastic, Coltrane-esque proportions for, like, five heart-stopping minutes.
― Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 10 December 2007 20:25 (5 years ago) Permalink
I had on Travels when my Dad called the other day. The BERSERK portion came on and my Dad goes "What the heck are you listening to?"
"One of those Metheny records you gave me."
"THAT'S not my Metheny!"
― BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 10 December 2007 21:03 (5 years ago) Permalink
God Wichita falls is good
― Uncle Shavedlongcock (max), Tuesday, 11 November 2008 13:17 (4 years ago) Permalink
"American Garage" is a great album. More melodic than most "fusion", which is great!
― Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 13:36 (4 years ago) Permalink
folk song = dud
fucking MADNESS WTF
― BIG HOOS' macaroni is off the motherfucking chain (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 11 November 2008 15:32 (4 years ago) Permalink
Anyone who lived in Florida during the xmas season no doubt has a nostalgia for Last Train Home
― WE ARE ALL GEETIKA (PappaWheelie V), Tuesday, 11 November 2008 16:26 (4 years ago) Permalink
I'm so glad Metheny was last talked about only a few months ago. I'm jamming out to the studio version of "Last Train Home" right now, and I'm imagining some soft Ibizan beats underneath it. Has anyone ever done a solid remix of Metheny?
― the who cares (okamax), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 04:57 (4 years ago) Permalink
surely classic for the kenny g rant alone
― butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:02 (4 years ago) Permalink
i know nothing of this kenny g rant but must track down
xp i know terje did a "re-edit" of some metheny track but it was pretty awful, if i recall. there's always "little fluffy clouds" if you're jonesin', i guess
i totally love "bright size life"; one or two tracks totally preempts chicago-style post rock but it's the straight-jazzier stuff that i like the best.. i have picked up a few other lps with his name on it for under $3 and they're all really good. ecm ftw!
― QE II, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:04 (4 years ago) Permalink
Kenny G is not a musician I really had much of an opinion about at all until recently. There was not much about the way he played that interested me one way or the other either live or on records.
I first heard him a number of years ago playing as a sideman with Jeff Lorber when they opened a concert for my band. My impression was that he was someone who had spent a fair amount of time listening to the more pop oriented sax players of that time, like Grover Washington or David Sanborn, but was not really an advanced player, even in that style. He had major rhythmic problems and his harmonic and melodic vocabulary was extremely limited, mostly to pentatonic based and blues-lick derived patterns, and he basically exhibited only a rudimentary understanding of how to function as a professional soloist in an ensemble - Lorber was basically playing him off the bandstand in terms of actual music.
But he did show a knack for connecting to the basest impulses of the large crowd by deploying his two or three most effective licks (holding long notes and playing fast runs - never mind that there were lots of harmonic clams in them) at the key moments to elicit a powerful crowd reaction (over and over again). The other main thing I noticed was that he also, as he does to this day, played horribly out of tune - consistently sharp.
Of course, I am aware of what he has played since, the success it has had, and the controversy that has surrounded him among musicians and serious listeners. This controversy seems to be largely fueled by the fact that he sells an enormous amount of records while not being anywhere near a really great player in relation to the standards that have been set on his instrument over the past sixty or seventy years. And honestly, there is no small amount of envy involved from musicians who see one of their fellow players doing so well financially, especially when so many of them who are far superior as improvisors and musicians in general have trouble just making a living. There must be hundreds, if not thousands of sax players around the world who are simply better improvising musicians than Kenny G on his chosen instruments. It would really surprise me if even he disagreed with that statement.
Having said that, it has gotten me to thinking lately why so many jazz musicians (myself included, given the right "bait" of a question, as I will explain later) and audiences have gone so far as to say that what he is playing is not even jazz at all. Stepping back for a minute, if we examine the way he plays, especially if one can remove the actual improvising from the often mundane background environment that it is delivered in, we see that his saxophone style is in fact clearly in the tradition of the kind of playing that most reasonably objective listeners WOULD normally quantify as being jazz. It's just that as jazz or even as music in a general sense, with these standards in mind, it is simply not up to the level of playing that we historically associate with professional improvising musicians. So, lately I have been advocating that we go ahead and just include it under the word jazz - since pretty much of the rest of the world OUTSIDE of the jazz community does anyway - and let the chips fall where they may.
And after all, why he should be judged by any other standard, why he should be exempt from that that all other serious musicians on his instrument are judged by if they attempt to use their abilities in an improvisational context playing with a rhythm section as he does? He SHOULD be compared to John Coltrane or Wayne Shorter, for instance, on his abilities (or lack thereof) to play the soprano saxophone and his success (or lack thereof) at finding a way to deploy that instrument in an ensemble in order to accurately gauge his abilities and put them in the context of his instrument's legacy and potential.
As a composer of even eighth note based music, he SHOULD be compared to Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver or even Grover Washington. Suffice it to say, on all above counts, at this point in his development, he wouldn't fare well.
But, like I said at the top, this relatively benign view was all "until recently".
Not long ago, Kenny G put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old Louis Armstrong record, the track "What a Wonderful World". With this single move, Kenny G became one of the few people on earth I can say that I really can't use at all - as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.
This type of musical necrophilia - the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers - was weird when Natalie Cole did it with her dad on "Unforgettable" a few years ago, but it was her dad. When Tony Bennett did it with Billie Holiday it was bizarre, but we are talking about two of the greatest singers of the 20th century who were on roughly the same level of artistic accomplishment. When Larry Coryell presumed to overdub himself on top of a Wes Montgomery track, I lost a lot of the respect that I ever had for him - and I have to seriously question the fact that I did have respect for someone who could turn out to have such unbelievably bad taste and be that disrespectful to one of my personal heroes.
But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture - something that we all should be totally embarrassed about - and afraid of. We ignore this, "let it slide", at our own peril.
His callous disregard for the larger issues of what this crass gesture implies is exacerbated by the fact that the only reason he possibly have for doing something this inherently wrong (on both human and musical terms) was for the record sales and the money it would bring.
Since that record came out - in protest, as insignificant as it may be, I encourage everyone to boycott Kenny G recordings, concerts and anything he is associated with. If asked about Kenny G, I will diss him and his music with the same passion that is in evidence in this little essay.
Normally, I feel that musicians all have a hard enough time, regardless of their level, just trying to play good and don't really benefit from public criticism, particularly from their fellow players. but, this is different.
There ARE some things that are sacred - and amongst any musician that has ever attempted to address jazz at even the most basic of levels, Louis Armstrong and his music is hallowed ground. To ignore this trespass is to agree that NOTHING any musician has attempted to do with their life in music has any intrinsic value - and I refuse to do that. (I am also amazed that there HASN'T already been an outcry against this among music critics - where ARE they on this?????!?!?!?!, magazines, etc.). Everything I said here is exactly the same as what I would say to Gorelick if I ever saw him in person. and if I ever DO see him anywhere, at any function - he WILL get a piece of my mind and (maybe a guitar wrapped around his head.)
NOTE: this post is partially in response to the comments that people have made regarding a short video interview excerpt with me that was posted on the internet taken from a tv show for young people (kind of like MTV)in poland where i was asked to address 8 to 11 year old kids on terms that they could understand about jazz. while enthusiastically describing the virtues of this great area of music, i was encouraging the kids to find and listen to some of the greats in the music and not to get confused by the sometimes overwhelming volume of music that falls under the jazz umbrella. i went on to say that i think that for instance, kenny g plays the dumbest music on the planet – something that all 8 to 11 year kids on the planet already intrinsically know, as anyone who has ever spent any time around kids that age could confirm - so it gave us some common ground for the rest of the discussion. (ADDENDUM: the only thing wrong with the statement that i made was that i did not include the rest of the known universe.) the fact that this clip was released so far out of the context that it was delivered in is a drag, but it is now done. (its unauthorized release out of context like that is symptomatic of the new electronically interconnected culture that we now live in - where pretty much anything anyone anywhere has ever said or done has the potential to become common public property at any time.) i was surprised by the polish people putting this clip up so far away from the use that it was intended -really just for the attention - with no explanation of the show it was made for - they (the polish people in general) used to be so hip and would have been unlikely candidates to do something like that before, but i guess everything is changing there like it is everywhere else. the only other thing that surprised me in the aftermath of the release of this little interview is that ANYONE would be even a little bit surprised that i would say such a thing, given the reality of mr. gs music. this makes me want to go practice about 10 times harder, because that suggests to me that i am not getting my own musical message across clearly enough - which to me, in every single way and intention is diametrically opposed to what Kenny G seems to be after.
― butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:07 (4 years ago) Permalink
also classic for this:
― butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:11 (4 years ago) Permalink
i have a few problems with his logic there but he is mostly right on.. yeah g always did sound slightly out of tune to me! maybe that's part of the annoyance factor.
a music professor at university of washington told me that he and everyone were so impressed by kenny g when he was studying there.. and then he left and made shitty records and they were all "wha happened".. don't know if that was before or after this amazing album cover
― QE II, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:20 (4 years ago) Permalink
i could have sworn i said more on this thread
― the insane Dr. Morbius and his HOOSical steens (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:28 (4 years ago) Permalink
<3 wichita falls
― rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Wednesday, 13 May 2009 13:54 (4 years ago) Permalink
Holy shit, why did I never listen to Offramp before?
― EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 22 November 2010 03:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
this thread inspired me to once again dig around on allmusic & youtube trying to find the song of his I loved as a kid. turns out it was Phase Dance from the self-titled pat metheny group album. i listened to some clips from Wichita and clearly need to grab that one.
― get off my lawn (rockapads), Monday, 22 November 2010 06:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
Poor Kenny G. Kenny G's career started with a job as a sideman for Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973 while 17 and still in high school. I am sorry but that is cool!
― like you really know who trisomie 21 is (u s steel), Monday, 22 November 2010 07:20 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, "Phase Dance" is cool. I need to explore more of the 70s and 80s Metheny.
― EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 23 November 2010 05:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
― PappaWheelie V, Tuesday, 23 November 2010 05:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
I have probably said this before, probably on this thread even, but I knew a drummer in high school who used to get me to say "As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls" repeatedly, because he couldn't manage to get the whole title out and it cracked him up to hear it. He was liking a walking drummer joke. He once told me I should take up smoking because it was a good habit.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 23 November 2010 14:15 (2 years ago) Permalink
I picked up his awesome solo baritone acoustic disc a couple of months ago while out of town and I have no idea where I put it
yes I know I could go steal it & feel ok about because I already bought it but I'm an object-fetishist, leave me alone with my books you buncha kids
― aerosmith: the acid house years (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 23 November 2010 14:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
― EL CUCUY (lpz), Tuesday, 23 November 2010 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
kinda clueless when it comes to this dude. recommendations on where to start? early stuff?
― tylerw, Tuesday, 23 November 2010 20:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
(there's a funny thing in that Jazz Ear book from a few years back where Metheny says something like "b-minor, the saddest of all keys." and all the metheny heads started discussing this comment seriously, but of course, pat is paraphrasing from spinal tap, haha.)
― tylerw, Tuesday, 23 November 2010 20:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
xp Bright Sized Life seems like a good entry point.Has his collab with Steve Reich not been mentionned? Pretty amazing stuff
― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 09:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
Do you mean Electric Counterpoint?
― EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 12:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
I don't think you can go wrong with pretty much any of the records Pat Metheny did for ECM. I think when he got obsessed with Brazilian music and started using tons of strings on some of the later records on Geffen, usually on Pat Metheny Group albums, I didn't like it as much. That said, if you find a record where he is in a group with a bunch of other jazz ringers with big reps, he always holds his own.
― earlnash, Wednesday, 24 November 2010 12:32 (2 years ago) Permalink
xp - yeah sorry that's the one
― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 15:09 (2 years ago) Permalink
Cool, it's great. I just wondered if they'd done something new together. I always thought about EC as just Metheny performing Reich's composition tbh -- and it is -- but his contribution on the original recording is pretty and substantial, considering he had to record and layer every one of those 13 parts. Have you listened to the other recordings of the piece? I'd like to check out Tannenbaum's.
― EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
Ugh, "is pretty substantial"! I suppose it is pretty and substantial too though.
― EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
OMG Wichita Falls!
― EveningStar (Sund4r), Thursday, 25 November 2010 03:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
― lag∞n, Sunday, 11 March 2012 17:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
offramp is the shit!
― coal, Saturday, 15 December 2012 20:57 (5 months ago) Permalink