1. Son of Thirteen
2. At Last You're Here
3. Let's Move
5. Calvin's Keys
6. Is This America? (Katrina 2005)
7. When We Were Free
8. Dreaming Trees
9. The Red One
10. Day Trip
Pat Metheny - Guitar
Christian McBride = Bass
Antonio Sanchez - Drums
Pat Metheny's first album
as a leader - the famous Bright Size Life
in 1975 - had him leading a trio (with Jaco
Pastorius and Bob Moses). Since then, he has
led some notable trios - before this, it was
the one containing Larry Grenadier and Bill
Stewart. His latest trio, as heard on this
album, includes two virtuosi: bassist Christian
McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Christian
McBride seems to be appearing on half the
jazz albums issued nowadays - and this CD
shows why. He has a full, deep tone and a
rare ability to fit into almost any context.
You can even hear his solos on this album,
and they make good sense - which are not things
you can say about all bass solos. Antonio
Sanchez is another superb musician, whose
busy playing drives the music along and keeps
the level of stimulation high.
Mind you, Pat Metheny doesn't
need pushing to be stimulated and stimulating.
On up-tempo tunes like the appropriately-named
Let's Move, he plays very excitingly.
On this and other fast numbers like the opening
track, the trio bustles along energetically.
The Red One is even more furious, with
Metheny using his synth guitar on a tune which
mingles jazz-fusion with hints of reggae rhythms.
Such muscular numbers contrast effectively
with gentler pieces like At Last You're
Here, a romantic tune which heats up gradually
as it goes along, and Is This America?,
an elegy folkily pondering the effects of
Hurricane Katrina, with an arco bass
solo from McBride. On several tracks, Metheny
takes a fairly conventional line, mixing single
lines with chords in a way that recalls such
earlier guitarists as Tal Farlow.
This is a genuine trio rather
than just a guitarist backed by bass and drums,
but they have know each other very well. Pat
Metheny has used Antonio Sanchez as drummer
for his larger Pat Metheny Group since 2002,
and Christian McBride was part of Metheny's
"Special Quartet" in the early nineties. This
album was actually recorded in October 2005,
and the three musicians work empathically
together, perfectly judging the shifting dynamics.
Pat Metheny wrote all the compositions himself
and I must say that some of them need several
hearings to lodge in the mind - although the
musicianship makes this a pleasure, not a