Speaking of Nowby Pat Metheny Group
From the brilliant straight-ahead work on Trio 99 00 to the free-jazz explorations of his collaboration with Ornette Coleman on Song X, Pat Metheny has traveled the myriad byways of jazz throughout his more than 25 years as a recording artist. But to his millions of fans worldwide, the guitarist is best known as the leader of one of the most successful contemporary-jazz ensembles of recent years, the Pat Metheny Group. Though his “extracurricular” journeys have been great trips, it is with the group that he is most at home, and home has never sounded better than it does on Speaking of Now. Along with longtime cohorts keyboardist Lyle Mays and bassist Steve Rodby, Metheny welcomes three new members into the fold: drummer Antonio Sanchez, vocalist/percussionist Richard Bona, and Cuong Vu on trumpet and vocals, all three established artists in their own right. While the album features many of the trademarks that the group is known for -- airy, guitar- and keyboard-driven soundscapes mixed with world music vocals, especially on the album’s opening track, “As It Is” -- there now seems to be a more varied musical element present throughout. In fact, Speaking of Now is the group’s most diverse album in years. The album really kicks off on the second track, “Proof,” a piece that sounds like it would be perfectly at home on the 1978 Pat Metheny Group recording; it's propelled by Sanchez's swinging, solid drumming, along with a succession of great solos by Metheny, Mays, and Vu. The softer tracks, such as “Another Life” and “You,” highlight vocals of Bona and Vu, both of whom deliver gorgeous performances. Among the more interesting tracks is the funk/blues “Afternoon,” one of the most simple and basically melodic songs Metheny has written in a long time, with a solid groove to boot. The three new members are a welcome addition, putting a new spring into the step of this still vital group. Vu’s moody and haunting trumpet work gives the ensemble a more dynamic sonic dimension, while Sanchez’s fantastic playing is a definite plus, inspiring the group rhythmically. Even Metheny’s own playing is the best he’s done with the group in years -- he delivers a virtuoso performance without hitting you over the head with his prowess. Both superbly performed and always highly enjoyable, Speaking of Now should serve as the blueprint for contemporary-jazz records in the 21st century.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsPat Metheny Group Primary Artist
Pat Metheny Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Synthesizer Guitar
Lyle Mays Piano,Keyboards
Steve Rodby Cello,Acoustic Bass
Antonio Sanchez Drums
Cuong Vu Trumpet,Vocals
David Samuels Percussion,Marimbas
Richard Bona Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsPat Metheny Arranger,Composer,Producer
Rob Eaton Engineer,Engineering
Lyle Mays Arranger,Composer,Producer
Steve Rodby Producer,Sheet Music
Carolyn Chrzan Guitar Techician
Wally Dunbar Sheet Music
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Absolutely fabulous album as most of them are. These guys never cease to amaze. One thing I would like though ... I can't find a translation of the lyrics to "Afternoon" and would really like to know what that song is about. If anyone has them please post them.
The group has new found energy and talent. The 3 new additions are incredible musicians and add a new drive and chemistry to this already fine group. Sanchez is an incredible addition on drums. Just saw them on their tour in Detroit. Better in person. Hard to believe.
Pat Metheny, with the help of his backing band (including 3 new menbers) scores another hit with Speaking of Now. I have followed Pat and Co. now for 20 years and keep waiting for him to have a dud record. I should know better...
This is first album Pat Metheny which I've ever heard.... and I think that Pat is a great musician. He is wonderfull person.I was on his concert in Warsav, it was fantastic. I am searching his fans, because I have his unique CD to sell. This is CD from Poland. It was add to polish newspaper. I think that a lot of poeple which are abroad want to bue it. Greetings
Getting better and better with age.After nearly 25yrs of writting and playing music,Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays continue to push the limits of what contemporary jazz is.These two are the Lennon&McCartney of jazz.For all you PMG fans you know what I mean and won't be disappointed.For all of you who aren't familar with this group,explore, and broaden your horizons.
Having a single opportunity to listen to this album has left me only wanting to own it on the 12th. For all those awaiting this release...Just you wait..it's almost here. It has all been worth every year since Imaginary Day. The sound that eminates with each track, and I'm sure on subsequent listening will increase with enjoyment has me saying to myself... ''I wish to do something in my life as fullfilling and fun as these jazzmen obviously have every day they get to play.'' Get ready for some fun listening to Speaking of Now!!!
No real surprise here, just another great Metheny album, with absolutely fantastic jazz improvising over beautiful melodies.
I've been a Pat Metheny fan since I was ten, and he's still the man! NO ONE TOPS METHENY. NO ONE.
Not since the group's Still Life Talking and Letter From Home have I heard such a masterpiece. Metheny seems to have new life breathed into his playing with the addition of Antonio Sanchez on drums. This album has the gentle melodies of earlier Metheny releases yet with the improvisational ferver of his trio efforts. Track 2 ''Proof'' has Metheny smoking out an awe inspiring solo with Trumpet master and new addition Cuong Vu adding a soulful interlude that is climaxed by Lyle Mays' burning solo. This is not your Dad's Pat Metheny Group. Highly recommended.
With "Speaking of Now" Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, and Steve Rodby bring in Richard Bona, Antonio Sanchez, and Cuong Vu to flesh out the sound, and the results are nothing short of spectacular! Pat once again proves that you can be virtuosic and accessible musically without falling into the twin traps of "Wow, I can play faster than you! or bottom-of-the-barrel scraping pablum. All of the tracks here are standouts, but "As it Is", "Proof", "Another Life", and "You" deserve special mention, as the PMG are at the absolute top of their games, and incidentally, these fine performers really need to be seen live to truly appreciate their brilliant musicianship!