Monday, August 12, 2019

Offramp Access: Pat Metheny 65

We're back with the 7,000,000,000th post of the year about a guitar player! Try to restrain your unbridled enthusiasm, will you please?
In fairness, this is a really great and unique and much beloved/imitated guitar player.
He's celebrating a milestone, retirement age birthday today. At least 65 was retirement age, before Mitch McConnell raised it to 100... and 512 for nonwhite people, in his landmark piece of legislation, The Get Back To Work, Slave Act of 2019.
I'm so ancient, I remember when this guy first came out. No not McConnell, he'll never come out, unless it's for mandatory crossburning. Wait a minute, what am I talking about?
Oh yes, guitar. It was in the mid 1970s when the buzz was all about this new, clean-toned jazz player. Of course I was about 10, so my world was mostly about what sort of fire and blood Kiss were spitting. But I do remember, through the Slinky haze.
When it comes to his actual music, I was mainly initiated into the world of today's honoree -- a few years down the road -- by my boss, if you can believe that.
It was in 1989, and I was working in an advertising agency in NYC, where the floor supervisor was absolutely obsessed with the guy.
It was in this environment that I was introduced to records like New Chautauqua, Bright Size Life and Offramp, which -- along with the As Falls Wichita... one -- is probably my favorite of his stuff.
This lovely ad boss is gone for decades -- he passed from AIDS in the early 1990s -- but I'll never forget him and how sweet he was to me in my first real job in the world.
So thank you Alphonse Hardeman, for hipping me to the astonishing Pat Metheny, born this day in 1954 and never far from my personal playlistings since.
But what to share? There are 25 million great bootlegs of this cat, spanning over 40 years of activity.
Let's go back to 1981/82 and the Offramp album I mentioned, part of this period where Brazilian percussion powerhouse NanĂ¡ Vasconcelos joined Pat's group, taking the flavors of the music to a whole new and exotic place.
This is likely my all-time favorite archival piece of Metheny live lore, dating from November of 1981. 
The end of the first encore, and the second one, were both missing because the tape ran out, so these were patched in by me from a show from July of 1982 featuring the same band and likely recorded on the same equipment off the soundboard. Spot the edit, people.
Pat Metheny Group
Lincoln Center
Fort Collins, Colorado USA

01 Phase Dance
02 The Windup
03 James
04 PM announcement
05 Offramp
06 PM announcement
07 It's for You
08 Are You Going with Me?
09 The Bat Part II
10 Ozark
11 Turnaround
12 As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
13 Jaco
14 band introductions
15 San Lorenzo
16 (Cross The) Heartland
17 American Garage 

Total time: 1:59:20
disc break goes after Track 10

Pat Metheny - guitars & guitar synthesizer
Lyle Mays - piano, synthesizers, organ & autoharp
Steve Rodby - bass
Dan Gottlieb - drums, drumbox & autoharp
NanĂ¡ Vasconcelos - vocals, percussion & berimbau

master soundboard cassette; 
Track 16 conclusion & Track 17 patched from a low gen soundboard cassette of Howard C. Baldwin Memorial Pavilion, Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI 7.14.1982
I'll be back on the weekend, as we really start to delve into the Augustings here.
Don't miss this melodic mindmelter of a Pat Metheny performance though! It's two full hours of what has made a whole lotta wannabe guitar players pick up the flute, I'll tell you what.--J.