Steve Reich (featuring Pat Metheny): Electric Counterpoint


Electric Counterpoint


Steve Reich / Pat Metheny


Steve Reich: Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint (Elektra / Nonesuch 79176)

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Pat Metheny (electric guitar, electric bass).

Composed by Steve Reich


Recorded: New York, September 26 - October 1, 1987


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

A certain ineffable jazziness can often be discerned in the music of composer Steve Reich, but it comes to the fore in this 3-movement piece performed by Pat Metheny. The work makes use of Reich's longstanding interest in overdubbing and tape manipulation. Here the soloist prerecords as many as 10 electric guitar parts and 2 electric bass parts, and then performs an 11th guitar part "live" against the composite. As always with Reich, the surface simplicity hides deeper currents of intricacy. This is a multilayered work that draws the listener into its sonic landscape. And jazz fans will enjoy a pronounced Metheny flavor to the proceedings. In his notes, Reich thanks Pat for his guidance in making the guitar parts more "idiomatic." I'm not sure what this amounted to, but certainly the end results bear the personal stamp of this seminal guitarist.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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Steve Reich: Piano Phase
Steve Reich: Music for Eighteen Musicians
Pat Metheny: Opening

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  • 1 Tim // Jan 11, 2009 at 05:21 AM
    This is one of my favorite pieces of music. I am able to listen to it and travel through wonderful landscapes in my mind. Also, Steve Reich is a percussionist and not a guitar player. Pat helped Steve make the music more idiomatic for the guitar. This most likely means some of the musical lines didn't seem to work as well on guitar as a keyboard, so Pat advised Steve to make the music fit the instrument better.