Joe Pass: Meditation (Meditacao)
Joe Pass (guitar)
Intercontinental (MP Classics 5236)
Kenny Clare (drums).
Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Newton Mendonca & Norman Gimbel.
Recorded: Villingen, Germany, June 1970
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
Joe Pass's mellow rendition of "Meditation (Meditacao)" is a light bossa nova performed in what has become a timeless style of music. Relaxed rhythms are colored by rim shots that map out a sublime mood befitting deep introspection. For easygoing, laid-back music celebrating oneness, the presentation here is just right, as the ensemble is washed away in a large amount of audio sweetening that renders guitar, bass and drums indistinguishable after awhile.
Contrary to the ways most "hip" producers and artists were shaping their studio music in 1970, Pass's group was recorded live in a single take, and it fills up the wide-open spaces with note choices that were more carefully considered than what would have been heard on a Grateful Dead recording. Amidst a paucity of cluttered sound, aggressive kick-drums lead the track to its coda as the players step through the veil of aquatic reverb to deliver a wall of gutsy, uncluttered illuminations. The obvious goal was to deepen the instrumental tension while adding emotional resonance to an already unwavering flow, and all three players can be considered "on point," or in top form.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary