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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Day Trip

Nonesuch 7559-79956-1




1. Son of Thirteen
2. At Last You're Here
3. Let's Move
4. Snova
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 chore.

Tony Augarde

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