Review: Pat Metheny's Lyrical, Cinematic 'From This Place' A consistent force in jazz guitar since 1976, Metheny continues to search for new ground on his latest album, which he calls a "culmination."
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Pat Metheny's Lyricism Still Shines On Cinematic Album 'From This Place'

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Pat Metheny's Lyricism Still Shines On Cinematic Album 'From This Place'

Review

Music Reviews

Pat Metheny's Lyricism Still Shines On Cinematic Album 'From This Place'

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What happens when a jazz virtuoso sets his sights on a cinematic sound? Well, guitarist Pat Metheny has done just that on his new album, evoking the plush and soaring landscapes of film scores.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "WIDE AND FAR")

CORNISH: It's called "From This Place," and reviewer Tom Moon says it's among the most ambitious projects of Metheny's long career.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "WIDE AND FAR")

TOM MOON, BYLINE: That liquid tone, those airborne, searching melodies - they've been part of the jazz conversation for decades, ever since Pat Metheny's debut back in 1976 when he was 22. He's 65 now, an established star, the rare artist to win Grammys in 10 different categories. Still, he's pushing forward, seeking breathtaking and profoundly new vistas like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "AMERICA UNDEFINED")

MOON: Metheny calls his new project a culmination. It's got the epic journeys of the Pat Metheny Group and the fiery improvisational exchanges of his more recent jazz sessions. It's also a stretch beyond those horizons into textures and atmospheres not often heard in jazz.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "SAME RIVER")

MOON: The project began with Metheny's touring quartet. But rather than work up the new material on the road, as he's done in the past, Metheny gathered the musicians in the studio and recorded their first encounters with these intricate compositions. There were no rehearsals. Then he surrounded the band's tracks with orchestral accompaniment. The result is something much more expansive than the typical soloist-with-strings kind of session. Running throughout and really uniting everything is the light, windswept lyricism that has always propelled Metheny's music.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "PATHMAKER")

MOON: The release of an elaborate project like this is usually a joyous event for an artist. This one is tinged with sadness. It arrives right after the death of Lyle Mays, Metheny's longtime keyboardist and collaborator. Its tranquil landscapes sometimes echo the work Metheny and Mays began decades ago. And this record extends the spirit of that partnership into dazzling new sonic realms.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "YOU ARE")

CORNISH: The new album from guitarist Pat Metheny is called "From This Place." Our reviewer was Tom Moon.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT METHENY'S "YOU ARE")

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