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American Garage

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Album Review

The back liner photo gives the impression of a grungy Midwestern garage band, but no, that doesn't describe this sophisticated jazz-rock quartet, which was simultaneously breaking into mass-market acceptance and away from the contemplative ECM stereotype. The arrangements are more structured, the playing often more intense and searching, with a more pronounced rock influence. On the title track, Metheny digs in and displays some authoritative rock-oriented licks and intensity, and the rhythms on "The Search" have a slight, at times asymmetrical Latin feeling. The nearly 13-minute "The Epic" finds the Metheny group developing some real combustion in the improvised sections as Metheny, keyboardist Lyle Mays, bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb grow tighter as a unit. In hindsight, some of the music seems a bit too tightly conceived to allow adequate breathing room, but this is still high-quality jazz-rock for its time. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

An absolute classic

I find it hard to believe I'm the first person to write a review of this album. I first heard PMG in college at a small venue in upstate New York. I was completely uprepared for the transforming experience I was to hear. Pat Metheny's music was like nothing I'd ever heard. Almost thirty years later I'm still hooked.

This album was the beginning of it all. Several cuts like The Search still have the ablity to touch me. It is evocative and yearning while being hopeful. Metheny has a great gift for melodic development . Lyle Mays shines on this album as well. Get out your headphones and spend forty five minutes that will change your attitiude.


Melodic, tight virtuoso performances. Must have album for PM fans and any who like epic jazz ballads. First heard them in grad school in the 80's, hooked immediately! It doesn't get much better than this!


Born: August 12, 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...
Full Bio
American Garage, Pat Metheny Group
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Customer Ratings


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