By Sergio Spada
Although about twenty Grammy Awards assigned to him can make you imagine that he has rested on his laurels and in spite of an age at which he could simply replicate his basic model to the delight of the faithful, Pat Metheny seems tirelessly (for him) and admirably (for those who listen to him) projected towards new episodes of his history and towards the exploration of what his guitar can still discover.
Side eye NYC
It proves it with projects that in recent years have all been of excellent level (“From this place” and “Road to the sun”) before this “Side Eye Nyc”, a very appreciable live recorded in New York with talented musicians and magnificently functional to the intentions of the leader: the eclectic, disruptive, modern drummer Marcus Gilmore and the imaginative and brilliant keyboardist James Francies. In the atmosphere of the live and working on original compositions and recoveries of materials from the immense archive that Pat can draw from his discography, the three interpenetrate in a very varied musical roundup and never waning in its yield (on average very high) often showing how three instruments can fill the space of our listening making us think that there are at least twice as many musicians. Thanks to Gilmore’s magmatic drumming, Francies’ ability to alternate and join piano, organ and bass lines as well as other sounds, and the full identification in a single body of Pat Metheny and his guitar. Listen to the powerful “Lodger” to understand. It is a song that we could define “hendrixian” in its crescendo, not neglecting at times the best Eric Clapton. But Metheny wouldn’t have this truly overwhelming performance without two fellow adventurers of similar magnitude. To listen to and listen again.