Pat Metheny: Don't Know Why


Don't Know Why


Pat Metheny (baritone guitar)


One Quiet Night (Nonesuch 517795)

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Pat Metheny (baritone guitar).

Composed by Jesse Harris


Recorded: New York (Pat Metheny's home), late 2002


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Inspired by a new baritone guitar and toying with an alternative tuning (a "special low Nashville tuning," he explains), Metheny laid down some tracks at home with just a single instrument and one microphone. Pat may be one of the most technologically-empowered artists of modern times, but don't think for one second that he wouldn't be a star in an unplugged world. Unaccompanied on acoustic guitar, he is perfectly self-sufficient, and one doesn't miss software, amplifiers, effects or sidemen. Here he covers the biggest selling jazz song of the last decade - although it wasn't quite so well known when Metheny recorded this version - and extracts lots of emotion from Jesse Harris's sweet changes. There are some subtle modifications here, with keys and chords, but Metheny impresses most with the simplest motions. You can tell just from the melody statement that you are in the presence of a complete musician. Tempo, texture, ornamentation, ambiance . . . this song is happening on many levels, and with no ostentation. It all sounds so easy, but you know it can't be. Otherwise there would be many other guitarists playing at this level. One question remains. What other tapes does Pat have hidden away in that home studio?

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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