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SUBJECT: Nothing but the best musicians for all of Pat’s bands Back to Subjects
MarcNebo
Aug 19 2020
at 10:20 PM
Recently with the help of the Pat Metheny Database website I was able to reconstruct the band lineup from all of Pat’s shows that I have seen since 1977. I amazed at how his is consistently able to assemble such great musicians every time. I have seen ten different versions of the Pat Metheny Group from quartets to septets and five different Pat Metheny Trios. I have seen Pat’s bands with eleven different bass players and nine different drummers. From my first show in 1977 to the last show in 2019 his bands are excellent and there are no weak links. The musicians with the exceptions of the vocalists are at the top or near the top in the annual Downbeat Critics Poll. Pat has a great radar for finding great musicians like Antonio Sanchez who he heard backstage when Antonio was in the Danilo Perez Trio. Has anyone else at American Garage felt the same way?
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yossarian
Oct 28 2020
at 2:31 PM
Bookmark and Share Great to hear, Marc, good stories... thanks for sharing. I’m dreaming of the day we can see Pat live again, and any live music. It can’t come soon enough.
MarcNebo
Oct 27 2020
at 10:21 PM
Bookmark and Share I just watched an hour long Live Stream from the Village Vanguard with Marcus Gilmore (Side-Eye) playing a solo show. I already thought he was a great young drummer, but this show really blew me away. Second piece was over thirty minutes long and he had a really cool rhythm pattern going the whole time with double bass drums. I was impressed by the entire show and was amazed by his hour show with no breaks. I was not surprised that Pat selected Marcus for his Side-Eye band. An incredible young talent and future legend. Check him out on You Tube and live whenever possible.
MarcNebo
Oct 11 2020
at 2:39 PM
Bookmark and Share Last week I received my Downbeat Digital edition for November and noticed the cover feature was the third installment of "25 For The Future (1999 & 2016). They do a brief story on jazz musicians that "have potential to build significant careers in Jazz". I was very happy to see that they selected James Francies the pianist/keyboardist in Pat’s Side-Eye band. He also has toured and recorded with Chris Potter. In 2019 I saw him with Side-Eye and later last year with his own band. In his article James said "I got up the courage to introduce myself to [Metheny] on an airport tarmac. I told him I was a huge fan and his music inspired me." Pat replied "I know who you are. I’ve been watching your videos since you were in high school. Stop over my house and let’s play." Once again it shows Pat always has his radar on to discover young talent.
yossarian
Oct 06 2020
at 6:54 PM
Bookmark and Share Hi Marc, I suppose what I’m trying to say is the music always comes first. The choice of Cuong Vu on trumpet for Speaking of Now and the Way Up comes to mind. Vu is a very progressive musician with a voice and thought process that is all his own. He was a different pick, not a predictable one, whose sound haunts and colours both those recordings to great effect. I find terms like ’great’ and ’best’ hard to quantify in this context. I’m not disagreeing by the way, just agreeing using slightly different words! I suppose the classic person to illustrate my point is Ornette Coleman... was he a great saxophonist? He wasn’t Brecker, Shorter or Josh Redman. But what he did with his horn and his music was amazing. It’s a difficult thing to describe in words really.
franksexton
Oct 05 2020
at 10:17 AM
Bookmark and Share Have to add John Patitucci to the bassist list.
MarcNebo
Oct 03 2020
at 11:13 AM
Bookmark and Share yossarian : In recently read an article/interview with Pat in Downbeat regarding "From This Place." Pat explained that he wrote the compositions and assigned solos, keeping the strengths of each band member in mind. After repeated listening of that record I think Pat nailed it. All the solos are excellent and the band plays great in support also. I also think that for most of his career Pat like Duke Ellington did, composes to bring out the best of the musicians in the band. Very similar to how a really great superstar in sports makes the rest of the team play better. But Pat is also in charge of "drafting" his team. I can’t think of anyone who does it better.
yossarian
Oct 02 2020
at 6:12 PM
Bookmark and Share If you’ve got great compositions then musicians will always bring their best. Of course only truly excellent artists play with Pat but the music writing and arranging brings out the best in them.
MarcNebo
Sep 10 2020
at 2:56 PM
Bookmark and Share If anyone is interested I found the article where Pat talks about discovering Antonio Sanchez. I found it to be an excellent piece on Antonio. Pat mentioned hearing him from backstage at a Danilo Perez Trio concert thinking he was hearing a percussionist and trap drummer playing beautifully in sync. I misquoted Pat earlier, he did consider Antonio to be his dream drummer, but Pat said "He’s truly the drummer I thought would never be born." High praise from someone who has played with many of the best drummers in Pat’s career. The article was in the December 2010 Jazz Times and can be viewed online. I Googled "Antonio Sanchez, The Conquering Hero, Jazz Times".
MarcNebo
Sep 03 2020
at 9:40 PM
Bookmark and Share I just visited Qustion & Answer drummer posts and forgot Pat recorded with Tony Williams on Wilderness and Elvin Jones on a Michael Brecker record. I have to add both to my Drummer First Place Ties. Pat said playing with Elvin Jones far exceeded listening to him. I have to dig that record out of my collection and check it out.
MarcNebo
Sep 03 2020
at 9:25 PM
Bookmark and Share I wish I remembered where I read about Pat talking about when he discovered Antonio Sanchez. As I stated earlier at this post Pat was backstage at the Danilo Perez Trio. Pat said this was his "Dream Drummer" who he thought he would never find. He has been extremely impressed from day one and has used him in the Pat Metheny Group, Pat Metheny Trio, Unity Band, Unity Group, New Quartet, with Gary Burton New Quartet and on TAP. Over a period of four years I got 41 Jazz drummers to sign three drumheads. Antonio was at the top of my target list and was the thirty-fifth signer. I was able to meet and talk to 39 of the drummers after the gig or between sets. When I mentioned Antonio Sanchez I remember at least twelve of them saying what an excellent drummer he is. I would have loved to ask all 41 to name their favorite three living drummers. My 41 drummer list is very impressive and most of them were impressed when they signed a drumhead. Several thanked me for adding them.
molesoulsandal
Sep 03 2020
at 2:31 PM
Bookmark and Share haved always loved wertico’s quote, when asked what he’s thinking about during a song, he said: . . . ’i just try to dream as i play’ . . . . .
Antoñete
Sep 03 2020
at 10:08 AM
Bookmark and Share Talking about Pat’s drummers I love Antonio by his playing, but also because we have the same name and because he is mexican, which is a country I like quite much. But my favourite Pat drummer is Paul Wertico. Was Eddie Calhoun who told him when he was starting is career: ’kid, you’ll always work because you play happy drums!’ and I agree. I just love his vibe and watching him play. I searched for the David Sanborn show MarcNebo commented, and the way Paul plays at the end of the song it just thrills me. The way he raises up te tone, to close the song it’s great.
Antoñete
Sep 03 2020
at 7:44 AM
Bookmark and Share MarcNebo, there is a Youtube video of Antonio Carlos Jobim playing How insensitive with Pat at Carnegie Hall, and both are wearing tuxedos. You can check it easily.
MarcNebo
Sep 01 2020
at 5:42 PM
Bookmark and Share franksexton : I agree 100percent Ron Carter is a Classy guy. Probably the only person to get Pat to wear a suit or jacket at a gig. I have seen Ron Carter twice with Russell Malone and Donald Vega. All three of them were in matching suits, shirts and ties. A young lady that knew Russell and Donald saw them backstage at the Detroit Jazz Festival. She said they looked like Undertakers and Russell said "I dare you to tell Mr. Carter that. When I ran into him that first time I asked if he would sign my copy of his autobiography. He waited for me when I went to my room to get it. I would have loved to talk to him further, but wanted him to enjoy his free time as he was the Artist-In-Residence and was playing all four nights.
franksexton
Sep 01 2020
at 11:15 AM
Bookmark and Share I got to meet Ron after the last duet he did with Pat last year. Class act all the way.
MarcNebo
Aug 31 2020
at 2:57 PM
Bookmark and Share I forgot that Pat played a duo show at the Detroit Jazz Festival several years ago and again in 2019. I was at the earlier DJF , but I missed the show because I fell down the steps at the back of the stage. Ron Carter was ahead of me at the Breakfast Buffet line at Festival hotel the first morning and I spoke two him for several minutes. He should be on my Bassist list, First Team. I wish the would record as a duo.
Kooltrane
Aug 30 2020
at 8:27 AM
Bookmark and Share I find it curious PM has recorded w/Chick Corea only once (as far as I know) on "Like Minds." Conflicting schedules, competing styles or something else? A meeting of Jazz Giants is in order.
MarcNebo
Aug 29 2020
at 8:54 AM
Bookmark and Share For the Piano/Keyboards category I have to put Lyle Mays at first place because of the special bond that he had with Pat. Plus strong on all the keyboard instruments, Three way tie for second place and four way tie for third place. Second place : Herbie Hancock, Lyle Mays, Brad Mehldau and Gwilym Simcock Third place : Jim Beard, Guilio Carmassi, James Francies (Side-Eye) and Gil Goldstein Last year I saw James Francies with Pat’s Side-Eye and later with his own group. As Pat stated about the Side-Eye band, he wanted to feature young Jazz musicians that have caught his attention. Just like when he introduced Joshua Redman to his fans. If I see James Francies with Side-Eye in 2021 I may move him up to second place. Pat has made it difficult to pick favorites because of the consistent pattern of high caliber musicians.
MarcNebo
Aug 28 2020
at 9:18 PM
Bookmark and Share Thank you, I meant to Put Steve Rodby on that list and Bob Moses. I personally preferred Danny Gottlieb over Paul Wertico. I live in Evanston IL and I know Hamid Drake (drummer). He told he played with Pat somewhere in Europe. I would have put him on the list, but didn’t see the show. Also Pat played with Sonny Rollins in Japan and I saw Joshua with Pat in California. I moved to California the year Pat played with Ornette and missed that show. Saxophonists would be a tie on my new list. Thanks for the help, my brain turned 66 last Saturday and as people say, my brains full. Thank you for keeping the conversation going. How about doing piano/keyboards next? I will have my list by tomorrow.
franksexton
Aug 28 2020
at 10:49 AM
Bookmark and Share Marc, you forgot Bob Moses. I also forgot Ornette Coleman , Dewey and Joshua Redman on sax.
molesoulsandal
Aug 27 2020
at 8:28 PM
Bookmark and Share steve rodby and paul wertico, anyone??!!!????!!?? jeesch!
MarcNebo
Aug 27 2020
at 5:58 PM
Bookmark and Share franksexton : I made my list of drummers, eight way tie. To be fair listed alphabetically : Jeff Ballard, Jack DeJohnette, Marcus Gilmore, Roy Haynes, Billy Higgins, Paul Motian,Antonio Sanchez and Bill Stewart. If I catch the new version of Side-Eye in 2021 I could add Joe Dyson. I have seen him with Donald Harrison since 2012 and he has turned into a great drummer. That New Orleans Second Line influence really makes his playing special. I saw him February 29th in Donny McCaslin’s trio. Also eight way tie for Bass players, also alphabetically : Scott Colley, Larry Grenadier, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Christian McBride, Linda May Han Oh, Steve Swallow and Ben Williams. Both lists are for live and on records.
franksexton
Aug 25 2020
at 6:57 PM
Bookmark and Share Marc I did see Marcus Gilmore in the Side-Eye band at the Detroit festival. It was a short set and I didn’t notice his playing in particular.
MarcNebo
Aug 24 2020
at 1:42 PM
Bookmark and Share franksexton : It may be more than a five way tie for drummers, Antonio for sure. But then I have seen Pat with Billy Higgins, Jack DeJohnette,Paul Motian, and several more younger guys. I missed seeing him with Roy Haynes. Joey Baron is a great drummer, have seen him with others but not with Pat. Did you see Marcus Gilmore in the Side-Eye band? He is Roy Haynes grandson, but has his own sound, but Roy’s DNA is present.
franksexton
Aug 24 2020
at 11:43 AM
Bookmark and Share MarcNebo, 5 way ties are allowed, I always distinguish between favorite and best. I could add Michael Brecker to the sax list (I forgot 80/81). Interesting when I saw Unity Band at Detroit Jazzfest they where followed on stage by Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas, who had Linda Oh on bass and Joey Baron on drums (who I think also has played with one of Pat’s trios at one time). I remember being blown away by both Linda and Joey (as good as Antonio was/is).
tiny_tim
Aug 23 2020
at 3:59 PM
Bookmark and Share I think "Speaking of Now" is a benchmark album for me... when thinking about more than one great musical collaborator. The inclusion of Sanchez, Bona, and Vu ...and all the tool sets they possess ...and all entering the PMG first time together....
MarcNebo
Aug 23 2020
at 3:06 PM
Bookmark and Share franksexton : It would be impossible for me to pick my favorite bassist and drummer from Pat’s bands. They have all been great and most are considered the best on their instrument. First drummer I saw with him was Danny Gottlieb and when I revisited Pat’s records with him I remembered he was an excellent drummer. The last drummer I saw with him is Marcus Gilmore (grandson of Roy Haynes) in Side-Eye. First bassist was Mark Egan and the last was Linda May Han Oh, who is getting a lot of positive press. Best I could maybe do is five way tie for first place and five way tie for second place on favorite drummers and bassists. I also got to see Jaco Pastorius with Pat when the toured with Joni Mitchell.
MarcNebo
Aug 20 2020
at 11:02 PM
Bookmark and Share franksexton : That’s a tough one for me to call on saxophonists. I saw Pat with Chris Potter in the PMUG twice and when I listened to Pat’s Podcast about 80/81 Michael Brecker’s solo on the record was so intense and so different from anything else Pat had heard him play ever. Another example is on Brecker’s final record Pilgrimage, check out the song Tumbleweed. I am going to go with a tie between Chris Potter and Michael Brecker.
franksexton
Aug 20 2020
at 4:14 PM
Bookmark and Share Yes, I agree. So who are your favorite musicians to have played in Pat’s groups by instrument? I will start with Chris Potter and sax.
hman01
Aug 20 2020
at 9:48 AM
Bookmark and Share Yes! Pat has always worked with the best! I’ve seen him many times in different configurations and have heard him on so many recordings with different musicians, all stellar. It’s astonishing that someone could maintain such a high caliber of musicianship throughout an entire career, not only for himself, but also by picking the most outstanding musicians to work with. Amazing!
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