Pat Metheny Group
Before sentencing Metheny’s attempt at hiphop-lite to the scrap heap of tragically flaccid artistic attempts, remember that collaborations with folks like saxophonist Ornette Coleman notwithstanding, the guitarist/composer has demonstrated his sentimental side with increasing regularity since 1979’s American Garage. But while that aspect of his work was generally well served with dates such as Garage and the uneven but still moving Secret Story, Live (despite some arresting Metheny solo passages) ends up being neither fish nor flesh. It’s a shoo-in for the ever-increasing number of “smooth jazz” formats sweeping the country. It will be interesting to see how much of this material is featured at Metheny’s upcoming Lisner Auditorium performances—such speculation and the disc’s colorful cover art may be the most provocative aspects of this collection.