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SUBJECT: Pat Metheny: The ECM Years, 1975-1984 by Mervyn Cooke Back to Subjects
Feb 07 2018
at 3:50 PM
I just stumbled upon this book title while browsing online. Has anyone here read it, and if so any comments or review you could share? Thanks.
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facing west
Nov 14 2019
at 4:13 PM
Bookmark and Share I’ve read this book a couple of times--really well done. Yes, the music theory is intense (and over my head), but still highly recommend it for serious PM fans. Also, interesting insights on things like artwork, album covers, etc.
Aug 07 2018
at 4:15 PM
Bookmark and Share That’s a terrific book! I just finished my first pass through it. Someday I will sit down and try to follow their analysis of "First Circle" in real time, listening to the track with a dictionary of musical terminology in hand. Listening to catch that semihemidemiquaver as it goes by... Seriously, one small revelation stuck with me: in "First Circle," the opening guitar duet places its notes into the same beats as the rests in the opening handclaps. It’s a jigsaw puzzle, one satisfying to solve by deconstructing into its components. This is serious and complex music, and it’s great to see it getting serious attention at the technical level. My only criticism of the book is that the front and back covers are too close together. I’ll be looking to see the second volume, Still Life Talking to The Way Up, very soon.
May 08 2018
at 12:02 PM
Bookmark and Share Love the Monk quote mole!
May 07 2018
at 5:10 PM
Bookmark and Share well, there’s always that oft noted quote by, i think, thelonious monk: ’ . . . talking about music is like dancing about architecture . . . . . ’ i have never been quite certain exactly what that means, but i like the way it sounds - hehe!
May 07 2018
at 9:28 AM
Bookmark and Share I thought it was a good book. I gained a lot of insight that I didn’t have before. As for the analysis, I skipped most of it. Yes, it was a large portion of the book, but I’m not going to be playing or doing any covers of the music and it was too wordy for me to hang with. Besides, even when Pat’s music is discussed or described verbally ( even by Pat himself, as articulate as he is) it never is as interesting as the music itself!
May 06 2018
at 12:05 PM
Bookmark and Share mole, it’s not only the "music theory and diagramming" that was a bear for me; it was the dang nomenclature that tied up my grey matter and through it for a loop. But have at it! I’d be curious to hear your take somewhere down the line. BTW, I’m in the middle of Mike’s Old Friends now, which is a fine read and not encumbered by the Oxford idiom. The only trouble I have with the book is it’s hard to hold up while sitting on the throne! ;)
May 06 2018
at 7:54 AM
Bookmark and Share i haven’t read the book yet, and i would kind of like to at some point, but i think that over-analyzing art is sort of like intellectualizing love . . . . . it gets pretty hairy sometimes when the left and right brains spend too much time in the same stall, so to speak . . . . . i dig music theory and diagramming musical sentences just as much as the next math-inclined musical individual, but when it all comes down to it, it’s how it makes us ’feel’, eh?
May 06 2018
at 4:09 AM
Bookmark and Share One of the tune title origins I enjoyed hearing about is "Eighteen." I always thought it might have to do with the exuberance of someone at that age. To learn that it was based, at least somewhat, on Reich’s magnificent "Music for 18 Musicians" was an eye-opener that leads to a renewed appreciation of the Offramp track. -- BTW, I’m looking forward to finally hearing Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin “Awase.” I love his earlier work a lot.
May 05 2018
at 12:11 PM
Bookmark and Share Hi Naut, I wouldn’t worry about your continued enjoyment of Pat’s music. I am treating the book much like I treated English literature lessons at school, which is that what I was taught was somebody’s interpretation of what is behind the work and not necessarily 100percent fact. Since it’s not officially endorsed we’ll never know. I am picturing Pat reading it (he never will I know) and laughing out loud at how wrong they’ve got certain things. For a lifelong fan like myself, I’m interested in anything to do with Pat and his music so the book is very interesting. However I believe (I may be wrong) that Pat takes the view that Miles had which is that the music speaks for itself and doesn’t need to be analysed. One little bit of information that I loved finding out, which is no doubt true, is the meaning behind the title “It’s For You” which is one of my favourite pieces of music. Not a dedication to someone special at all, as I’d imagined, but a quip based on the album artwork with the hand holding out the telephone and saying “it’s for you”!!! Brilliant. I laughed out loud as I read that. I await the authors dissection of The Way Up, before reading that I’ll need a few deep breaths and a couple of drinks!!
May 02 2018
at 7:27 PM
Bookmark and Share I agree whole-heartedly with your reading of the book, harn, which in fact you state much better than I could. I enjoyed my reading, but it was indeed a difficult one in many ways. If I’d done my due diligence as a reader, and consulted a dictionary or onelook for every term I didn’t know, I’d still be reading it in the fall. "acciaccaturas" is one doozy of an example; there are countless others. I must confess to a bit of sadness in finishing the book, as if I might not be able to enjoy Pat’s music in the future (or even earlier albums) without knowing much more of the theory and musicology that Cooke writes about. I hope that’s a fleeting feeling though; I really don’t want it to color too extensively my love of Metheny’s past and continuing creations. -- BTW, I love "Freigeweht" too!
Mar 28 2018
at 5:54 PM
Bookmark and Share I just finished reading it. It was quite enjoyable but the musical analysis is intense and you have to really know your theory inside out to fully understand a lot of it, I was struggling in some parts I must admit. I guess if I read it again slowly whilst listening to the pieces discussed I might get more from that side of things. It does shed some light on the thought processes behind the composing and that’s really interesting, as is the unfolding story of his progress throughout the years. Also there is some insight into ECM as a label, complete with references including one or two things I’d never even heard of; thanks to this book I bought the album "Freigeweht" by Rainer Bruninghaus based on the authors comparisons with Lyle Mays and it’s my favourite album at the moment, what a masterpiece!
Mar 27 2018
at 5:47 PM
Bookmark and Share My copy finally arrived today and I’m looking forward to the read, especially after Stevee’s short review below. I have a feeling I’ll be wanting for a PMG reunion even more now.
Mar 26 2018
at 9:56 AM
Bookmark and Share I went and got this book for my Kindle immediately after reading about it here. It is fantastic - did not want it to end. It does DEEP into musical analysis, with lots of notation and examples, in addition to the history of the group. Have recommended it highly to other Pat fans. It’s an "Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz" book, and they’ve done this same treatment for other seminal recordings - Keith Jarrett, Benny Goodman, Monk with Coltrane, Miles Davis Quintet, and Louis Armstrong.
Mar 02 2018
at 11:23 PM
Bookmark and Share Thanks ZMan - The book arrived today and I am already "into it". There are lots of quotes from the man, and parts of interviews from other sources (always footnoted). I think I will really enjoy this one, so again thank you ZMan. I wonder why this isn’t listed on this site.
Feb 09 2018
at 11:00 AM
Bookmark and Share Wow, thanks for the heads-up. I had no idea this book existed. I was just thinking the other day that I would love to know more about those ECM years. I know Gary Burton was instrumental in Pat getting with ECM. I’ll definitely be ordering this book. Thanks again!
Feb 09 2018
at 1:25 AM
Bookmark and Share Hi! At Amazon you can look inside the book. If you are signed as a customer, there will be more to read. To do this, you have to browse in the book and activate "surprise me". I hope, you understand, I am not an English native speaking person. Kai-Uwe
Feb 08 2018
at 8:12 PM
Bookmark and Share Many thanks for the heads-up on this one, ZMan! I just added it to my wish/get list. Cheers.
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