Saturday, March 27, 2021

Pat: Metheny


purchase  [ New Chautauqua ]

The term “record label” has almost become irrelevant. As we consume more and more of our music in digital format, record labels as such have become more or less invisible or irrelevant to the consumer. Not so 50 years back. Musicians we both tied to and touted by the labels. If you were purchasing music in the 60s and 70s, you knew what to expect from a Tamla, an Atco, a Polydor. You knew what you were likely to get if the label was ECM.

I knew ECM was European, north European. I knew it was independent. I knew it meant progressive Jazz. I didn’t know it was short for Edition of Contemporary Music. I knew the label included among its artists Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Eberhard Weber, Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie because I no small part of my LP collection included them. My collection also included a bit of Pat Metheny.

I tend to skew more toward the guitar than piano or sax, and a number of the above fit my prefs. Although Metheny started out solo (supported by some of the ECM crowd), he is mostly associated with the self-named Pat Metheny Group, which was releasing records up until about 10 years ago. He released an album titles From This Place about a year ago, and then Road to the Sun a couple of weeks ago (March 2021). And speaking of record labels, it caught my attention that most recently, his music has been appearing on the Nonesuch label, which I knew as a kid because a lot of my parents’ classical collection was on that label (a budget classical label in the 60s that has :developed into a label that records critically acclaimed music from a wide variety of genres” –Wikipedia)


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