This Sunday Music Muse Day findsme still enjoy the buzz from hearing one of my favoirte jazz guitatist in concert this week. Lisa and I attended the Pat Metheny Side-Eye concert at the Kodak Center in Rochester NY.
It was the first large concert we've attended since the John McLaughlin Farewell tour, outside of the small concert at the Rochester Jazz Featival, which have been held for the past two years because of the Covid 19 pandemic. Sitting in our seat I looked around and wondered, "what are all these old people doing at a Pat Metheny concert?" Well...then it hit the me, if they discovered Metheny in their 20's like I did and followed his career that means they're all in my post-AARP age group. Funny how the mind works. I first saw Pat Metheny on his first tour in support of Bright Size Life, his first ground breaking album, back in th 70s, at a small NYC gallery-by day/music club-by night just below 14th Street. I remember Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie were in the audience to support the new kid. I remember approaching Metheny during a break telling him how much I like his playing. He responded with a humble "thank you". Remaining fan and following his career, we've sort of grown old together, as he's now 67 years old, and still going strong, but still his the boyish looks.
I actually picked up the CD, Pat Metheny Side-Eye NYC several weeks ago. It'ss a trio group with two young players, James Francies on organ, piano, and synths, and Marcus Gilmore on Drum, with Metheny on guitars, Guitar Bass, and Orchestrionic (more on the later). First, in concert the trio offered a wide spectrum of Metheny's musical styles, from his classic tunes and tone, solo pieces, a touch of free jazz thrown in the mix. His use of self made music machines he calls the "orchestrionic" are cross between sythesizer and old fashion hurdy-gurdy machines. He did several CD's of music with these which are checking out.
The Kodak Center stage set was sparse, not large screen projections, just the three musicians, their instruments, and rather lame smoke machine and light show. When the smoke started I thought maybe a stage fire had started, but since the musicans didn't seem upset at it, I stayed in my sit. One of the highlights was he played Bright Size Life. mostly famous his best know tune and titla of his first album. I remains a favorite of mine, but even on the CD it doesn't match the original with Jaco Pastrious on bass. In the Side-Eye version the bases part played by James Frances on the keyboard, he does a good job, but it's just not the same.
I glad I got to see Metheny, as a lot of my music heroes are passing away, or retiring. I'm happy Rochester is city that can still attract quality acts. I looking forward to the Rochester Jazz Festival, which promoters have annouced will happen next spring. It something positive to look forward to.