Pat Metheny: The First Circle


The First Circle


Pat Metheny (guitar)


First Circle (ECM 25008)

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Pat Metheny (guitar), Lyle Mays (keyboards), Steve Rodby (bass), Paul Wertico (drums),

Pedro Aznar (acoustic nylon string guitar, voice, bells, percussion)


Recorded: Power Station, New York. February 15-19, 1984


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Starting off with a hand-clapping sequence in 22/8, "The First Circle" is one of the Metheny Group's most idiosyncratic works. Is it jazz? World music (whatever that means)? As you listen your way through each section, from the opening hand percussion to the intricate acoustic guitar bridge to Lyle Mays's surging synthesizer (and later piano) solo, you can't help but notice the feeling of lift. As the composition roars toward its conclusion, Pat's intensely strummed acoustic guitar is pitted against Pedro Aznar's impossibly beautiful wordless vocals. The first time I heard "The First Circle," it was at my first Metheny Group concert. It left me standing there with a slack jaw. Warning: it just might happen to you, too.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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