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iTunes Review

Pat Metheny has led his quartet, the Pat Metheny Group (which includes the keyboardist Lyle Mays) since the 1970s, but every now and then the jazz guitarist releases a trio album, and it’s always exciting to hear him in this stripped-down context. The rhythm section on Day Trip includes bassist Christian McBride and Mexican-born drummer Antonio Sanchez, who has frequently worked with Metheny. Sanchez is an active percussionist: a thousand ever-shifting details mark the flow of his playing. McBride is clearly the anchor of the band; without his solidity this ship might get a little rocky. “When We Were Free,” a piece in triple meter, feels like a classic (it appeared on 1996’s Quartet), while “Let’s Move” alternates between atmospheric plucking and the drive of fusion-informed post bop. It’s easy to imagine Wes Montgomery tackling the blues-inflected “Calvin’s Keys,” but Metheny slinkily weaves through the song in his own inimitable way. The guitarist switches to acoustic and McBride picks up his bow for “Is This America? (Katrina 2005),” a touching gospel-and-folk-tinged cut that sits halfway through—and at the heart of — the album.

Customer Reviews

Metheny in his Element

Pat Metheny is a restless musical traveller. He's a rugged individualist who, along with his rotating band of collaborators, continues to steer the course of contemporary jazz into ever-new realms. His decades of recordings have so permeated the world of jazz and instrumental music that many new listeners may not know that much of what they are hearing today on the radio and web has roots in ideas that Metheny first brought to the table a few decades back - but which are now part of the world's jazz lexicon... And I for one am one of his toughest critics. I have all his recordings great and small. As well an ever changing playlist of everything from Radiohead to Earth Wind & Fire to Michael Franti to Melee to Alison Krauss to Foo Fighters to Jewel to Miles Davis to Duncan Sheik to Coldplay to Mice Parade to Brahms to Garbage to whatever. I listen for heart and I listen for authenticity in whatever I'm hearing. I hear it here. Lots of it. This is Pat Metheny in his native element, playing street ball with the best in the hood, everybody showing their skills and loving it. In this case it sounds like straight ahead modern guitar jazz. No gloss or layered arrangements here - just great tunes and breathtaking improvisation played by three great players - and one great bandleader. Personally, I prefer his more richly layered Pat Metheny Group recordings, but I've got room for these too. And these tunes will be even better live than on recording - I suspect - but here they sound good anyway. And as Metheny gets older, I wager that he will seek out more and more ways to get back to doing what he appears to love most - just stretching out and blowing hard over some great changes - while his band is giving it right back to him. Game on.

Hand-Crafted, Top-Notch Jazz

These three never cease to amaze! It sounds like you're sitting in the room with them, and they are carefully crafting the music as they go. Sanchez plays the trap set like it's a piano or guitar melody while keeping in perfect time. McBride is smooth as silk or fast as a cat. Metheny plays the melodies perfect with lots of exploration and resolute chords/notes that he has always been known for. The thing that stands out most about this album is that it takes you on a journey, and it feels so personal. The recording has excellent fidelity that's difficult to find in our digital world these days. Enjoy!

Day Trip

Us old school Pat Metheny fans will love this one.Track six "Is This America?" made me smile thinking of back in the day's " This Is Not America". Metheny sounds great as usual.


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...
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