From the album of the same name, this twenty minute monster is a masterpiece; a musical narrative that might be a film score, but isn’t!
Is it jazz? I guess it comes under that umbrella but it was nothing like any jazz I’d ever heard before. Needless to say it’s made up of several movements and includes the sound of a helicopter, children’s laughter and Pat speaking some numbers. Never have worked out the significance of them…just to add to the mix, Brazilian percussion virtuoso Nana Vasconcelos plays as well. It’s an excursion into sound effects that seems to turn a playground into a stadium and has riveting interruptions of great authority followed by digital narration, literally, interspersed with glorious crescendos and great anthemic sweeps of emotion.
Released in 1981 (really so long ago??) Pat plays bass and rhythm and lead guitar thanks to the overdubbing while Lyle is on the keyboards including the auto harp; Pat also plays his 12 string guitar which gives the piece something of an oriental flavour at times. A particularly interesting movement about a third of the way in of the composition comes when a drum machine pattern is set against a “talking” drum – check it out!
You can learn more about Pat Metheny here:
About the Curator: Richard Parsons
I grew up listening to music from the late 60’s onwards. Pirate pop radio; swapping LP’s with friends; exploring genres; daydreaming over the latest woofer and tweeter.
In reality I spent thirty years imparting imperfect knowledge of English literature and drama to young minds in school. Regrets? No. I loved teaching; loved the interaction with the pupils, and made lifelong friends as a result. And what better way to keep up to date with music? I always played stuff in my lessons, and as a result, I’d be bombarded with suggestions from my flock! “Sir! Have you heard…?”
6 February 2019
I love it when a musical connection is made! I’ve been banging on about Zero 7 and then their offshoot, Fragile State, on this curation and then what happens? I come across someone new with a name that sounds like I should like them – Ambient Jazz Ensemble – and who’s central to them? None other than Neil Cowley…
30 January 2019
I can barely believe that I’ve let this curation go so long without more than a passing reference to the legend that is Peter Gabriel – though Genesis feature here with “Cinema Show” from “Selling England By The Pound” which has him on lead vocals…
22 January 2019
In keeping with the “world” themes of this curation, Bliss hail from Denmark, though their collective owes as much to influences from Guinea and Sweden! They first appeared in the early 2000’s which really was the halcyon period for ambient chill stuff it seems – a golden age? …