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Letter From Home

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Album Review

Picking up where Still Life (Talking) leaves off (instead of throwing listeners a curve ball like Song X), the equally triumphant Letter from Home stresses Brazilian elements with superb results. While a number of these treasures — including "Beat 70," "Have You Heard," and "Every Summer Night" — are light and accessible enough to have enjoyed exposure on some smooth jazz stations, Letter contains the type of depth and honesty that's sorely lacking in most smooth jazz. Metheny has always known the difference between light and lightweight, and even at his most delicate, he avoids entering "Muzak" territory. True to form, the improviser doesn't shy away from making extensive use of technology, but is insightful enough to do so in a very warm and soulful fashion. Like Still Life, Letter from Home is a fine example of a CD that is both a commercial and an artistic success.

Biography

Born: 12 August 1954 in Lee's Summit, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most original guitarists from the '80s onward (he is instantly recognizable), Pat Metheny is a chance-taking player who has gained great popularity but also taken some wild left turns. His records with the Pat Metheny Group are difficult to describe (folk-jazz? mood music?) but manage to be both accessible and original, stretching the boundaries of jazz and making Metheny famous enough that he could perform whatever type of music he wanted without losing his audience. Metheny (whose...
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Letter From Home, Pat Metheny Group
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