Pat Metheny: Don't Know Why

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?

June 29, 2009 · 0 comments


Norah Jones: Don't Know Why

This lovely ballad, composed by Jones' guitarist, helped catapult the vocalist's Blue Note debut to the stratosphere. "Don't Know Why" won the Grammy for Record of the Year (one of five Grammies awarded to Jones that year), and was a major reason for the twenty million copies sold of this landmark CD. Everything clicks here - the wistful melody, Jones' impeccable phrasing, the understated accompaniment. This unexpected success for such a nuanced performance restores our much shaken (and sometimes stirred) faith in the taste of the mass market.

November 16, 2007 · 1 comment


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