Pat Metheny: Opening




Pat Metheny (guitar)


The Way Up (Nonesuch 79876)

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Pat Metheny (guitar), Lyle Mays (keyboards), Steve Rodby (bass), Cuong Vu (trumpet, voice),

Gregoire Maret (harmonica), Antonio Sanchez (drums)


Recorded: Right Track Recording, New York. 2003-04


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

With some staccato guitar parts early on (reminiscent of his work on Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint), this edition of the Pat Metheny group launches into an extended masterwork: the nearly 70-minute-long The Way Up. What's amazing about this short introduction (a shade over five minutes) is that nearly all of the elements to follow are referred to in one way or another – very syncopated rhythms, interlocking melodies, drastic shifts in temp, texture, and volume. Most impressive are the mini-conversations that seem to occur between the instruments as phrases appear to be handed off in quick succession from the guitar to the piano to the trumpet and back. Credit newcomers Cuong Vu, Gregoire Maret, and (especially!) drummer Antonio Sanchez for rounding out the most inspiring lineup Pat has worked with to date.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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The Dozens: Twelve Essential Pat Metheny Tracks by Mark Saleski
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