Pat Metheny: April Joy


April Joy


Pat Metheny Group


Pat Metheny Group (ECM 1114 825 593-2)

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Pat Metheny (guitar), Lyle Mays (keyboards, autoharp), Mark Egan (bass), Danny Gottlieb (drums).

Composed by Pat Metheny


Recorded: Oslo, Norway, January 1978


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

"April Joy" is notable for Mark Egan's lovely fretless bass work, which dominates the tune's opening strains. This melodious sound would become his trademark. I prefer the Pat Metheny Group's 1977-80 lineup to any subsequent units. This band with Egan, Lyle Mays and Danny Gottlieb achieved a sublime cohesion that few combos ever have. "April Joy" was another fantastic Metheny composition. Aptly titled, the gentleness of the introductory passage does indeed remind you of an April morning. The body of the song is meatier. Part of the secret of Metheny's guitar playing is that he is aggressive without sounding so. His tone and attack emphasize smooth transitions over abrupt changes. Even when there are abrupt changes, such as for the tranquil midsection of this song, they don't slap you in the face. It is all in the transition. Here, the spatial introspective middle section carries through to the end of the piece. To this day when I really want to hear some Metheny, I pull out this Pat Metheny Group CD. It still pleases three decades later, whether it is April or January.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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