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PMG's "The Way Up"

Discussion in 'Out Of Town' started by miK., Jan 16, 2005.

  1. miK.

    miK. Esteemed Member Thread Starter

    Anyone heard about the new Pat Metheny Group project "The Way Up"?
    It's an interesting composition in that it is one "piece" of music made up
    of several "moods". I know that a lot of YJ fans are PMG fans as well.
    The sample that the PMG site has online sounds really good! Something
    to tide us over until the upcoming YJ CD hits?

    Give a listen here if you're interested:
    http://www.patmethenygroup.com/ (click on The Way Up audio player)

  2. Grillman

    Grillman Popular Member

    I'm listening to a copy of the new CD right now Mike. I'm a longtime PMG fan as well as the Jackets. Have seen both groups live several times. It's very dreamlike with some fantastic passages of music that will bring any serious listener to tears. Very different from the Yellowjackets sound but awesome just the same. They have a new harmonica player in the band who blends in pretty good. Just might go see them in Boston in March.
  3. miK.

    miK. Esteemed Member Thread Starter

    Hey David...

    Yeah I picked it up this week too. $11.99 at Circuit City! Great deal on some great music. There's lots of talk about it over at the PMG American Garage forums - most fans agree that it some amazing stuff. Yes, not as "accessible" as the earlier stuff from the 80's-90's but still worth a listen to hear the talented Pat and group do their thing. Gregoire Maret is the new young guy on harmonica and yeah he blends in exceptionally well. I look at TWU as kind of a "jazz concerto". Not something you can really "get" in one listening but after a few listenings the music is really stuck in your head!

  4. dale ransom

    dale ransom Popular Member

    Like Mike says, TWU is not a recording that you "get" right away. Varying accounts have Pat Metheny stating that this is a "protest album". Without having read those accounts specifically, my assumption is that the group make an obvious attept to steer away from the trendy directions today's "jazz" seems to perpetuate. While they've succeeded, it appears to me that PMG's golden days are now behind them. Antonio Sanchez is the best drummer they've had (I'm a 25-year fan), but since his joining PMG, my hearing detects a gravitation away from Lyle's presence. The recording engineering on both the aforementioned album and "Speaking of Now" emphasizes more drumkit and less of Lyle's playing (those warm synth and string sounds which have been Lyle's trademark are practically non-existent on TWU). I can understand a change toward that direction, but it gives the group a more sharp, aggressive sound - kinda like "Imaginary Day". In TWU, Part One (after the intro) is the best of the four movements. At one point, the band swings real hard (after about 14:30). Part Two is nice, opening in perhaps a reflective way (Lyle has a real nice accoustic solo) and later features Maret, in a ballad setting. It's nice overall, but may not become a classic as the 80's recordings have.
  5. Mark of Cenla

    Mark of Cenla Esteemed Member

    I really like it, but I may not listen to it that much because it is so long. Metheny and Mays have outdone themselves on this one. I would like to see them do it live. Peace.
  6. dale ransom

    dale ransom Popular Member

    Mark, it's interesting that you've revived this posting...since my last reply, I've both listened to the recording several times and have seen the band live, back in late February. My opinion has vastly changed; TWU has grown on me, big-time! Whoever were the recording engineers, burned!! Excellent!
    It's waaay better that the predecessor, Speaking Of Now. The one has more character.
  7. GIZMO

    GIZMO Active Member



    After reading your first message where you say that you don't believe that TWU will become a classic like the albums of the 80's and 90's my first reaction was that you've got it totally wrong.

    I have been a PMG fan for quite some time now and have collected most of their albums. Up to a few months ago "Speaking of Now" had been my favourite PMG album - well worth the grammy that it received in 2002.

    I had TWU on pre order a couple of weeks prior to it's official release and have been listening to it since early Feb. I truly believe unlike your earlier comments that TWU will become one the all time greats from PMG. On the CD Universe website I posted a short review where I state that I believe that this album will take the next grammy for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album"

    It takes a while to discover what this album is about. But I soon discovered the amazing and inspirational journey that it would take me on. (At every listening)

    I believe that Pat & Lyle have come up with something totally new. A remarkable work of art.


    Phil Parker
    Cape Town SA
  8. dale ransom

    dale ransom Popular Member

    Hi Phil - Did you read my 2nd posting, on the Album, posted on 5-25-05?? Best to you, in South Africa!!!
  9. GIZMO

    GIZMO Active Member

    Hi Dale

    Yes I did read your second message and I think we share exactly the same sentiments.

    Best to you too.

  10. dale ransom

    dale ransom Popular Member

    Just FYI...lately and apparently, the discussion forum of PM's official Site, once a very interesting place, is all but dead - well, still exists, but interesting dialogue and interaction is thing of the past. The Man himself has not posted any comment or answered a forum question in years. Makes one more so appreciate the YG themselves actually chiming in here, like they do.
  11. CJ

    CJ Active Member

    A better place for PMG discussion is the yahoo Pat Metheny2 list, a lot of far more substantial and less censored discussions. Anyway, I really love TWU, hearing live versions adds a huge appreciation for the album. The fact that Lyle's trademark panflute patch is not on the record took some getting used to, but he still uses it for classic stuff live, so.....
  12. mark

    mark Esteemed Member

    Believe it or not, The Way Up CD from Metheny is the first album of his that I ever bought. And I must say that I like it. I dont think I will listen to it for too long, because the tracks are way too long. But I like the album. I am thinking of getting another of Metheny's CDs. Which would you guys recommend??

  13. CJ

    CJ Active Member

    well, Mark, "Offramp", "Travels" "First Circle", "Still Life (Talking)" and "Letter From Home" are albums I'd recommend. Unfortunately the latter two are OOP due to Pat regaining the masters from Geffen and all the Geffen era recordings will come out remastered on Nonesuch. However, "Offramp" should be purchased for the great, epic "Are You Going With Me?" which is one of my favorite tracks. The melody is killer, over a bossa nova rhythm with pretty changes and it is the first tune to really introduce Pat's trademark (to this day) guitar synthesizer sound. "First Circle" is the first of the Brazillian trilogy which includes "Still Life(Talking)" and "Letter From Home". For Pat playing straight ahead, the albums "80/81", "Question and Answer", "Trio 99-00" and "Trio Live"(both "Trio" discs feature Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart) are highly recommended. Pat has a new live trio album with Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez that should be out sometime in the Fall I believe.
  14. mark

    mark Esteemed Member

    Hi CJ

    Thanks a lot for the info. I'll keep it in mind the next time I visit the CD store ... probably this weekend.
    Take care and God bless.

    Mark David
  15. CJ

    CJ Active Member

    you are welcome Mark. Perhaps some of the YJ's could chime in here on what their favorite Pat recordings are. Be aware though that both 80/81 and Travels are double albums, and altho they are US releases (I live in the US) both CD sets were incredibly expensive. 80/81 was about $40 and Travels was about $35 for me.
  16. GIZMO

    GIZMO Active Member


    So my prediction proved correct (See Post 30 May 05) TWU takes the 2006 Grammy for best contemporary Jazz album. Well deserved .......

    Congrats to Pat, Lyle and the guys.

    Phil Parker
    Cape Town SA :thumbsup:
  17. Franko

    Franko Popular Member

    One of my favorite albums in my collection. It took me a while also but once I saw them perform it live, the whole album opened up like a rose in spring. Between the YJ's and PMG there isn't much more a man would need on a deserted island.
  18. CJ

    CJ Active Member

    The live DVD filmed in Korea, is coming this fall.
  19. jazzman

    jazzman Active Member

    PMG's TWU

    The live DVD is one of the best DVD's I've ever seen ... also just caught Metheny on his current trio tour - possibly one of the best trio's ever - definitely worth going too ...

  20. ppjazz

    ppjazz Active Member

    Found A Way To Play "The Way Up" On Radio Show

    I was present to hear the PMG do "The Way Up" live in what Pat said was the first time they had played the entire jazz suite before a "live" audience. Regardless, they were flawless that evening.

    In order to tailor this incredible music for my radio show, I found convenient places to introduce a "break" in the lengthy arrangements so that I could use it on the radio. Seems to work well and over the weeks I was able to let the entire suite be heard in our area on several occasions.

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