Pat Metheny: One Quiet Night (2009)
A marketing ploy aimed at encouraging the Japanese to "buy local" in the face of cheaper international vendors, included bonus tracks are not always all that good or, even if they are, particularly relevant. The acoustic guitar solo, "Epilogue," on the Japanese edition of Pat Metheny Group's Speaking of Now (Warner Bros., 2002) may be lovely, with a title that suggests actual intention, but it possesses little in common with the rest of this eclectic album. The expansion of The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005), on the other hand, may be of questionable value, but it is, at least, integrated with the piece and not simply an added-on afterthought.
successfully spends considerable time mining a very narrow fieldthat One Quiet Night is an album of evocative beauty, where overtly virtuosic tendencies are replaced by a lyrical examination of space and nuance.
Here, the nearly seven-minute closer, "In All We See," feels completely in context with the gentle ambience of the rest of One Quiet Night. Feeling like a personal concert direct from Metheny's living room, these 12 (well, now 13) songsspontaneous inventions, composed original songs and selected coverswere all recorded on one guitar, with one microphone. Metheny has never made an album that explores one mood so completely, and it's to his creditmuch as Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen
's "My Song" becomes more elemental. Even when Metheny lifts the tempo and changes from delicate finger-picking to more propulsive strumming on the Midwestern-tinged "Over on 4th Street," the compelling quietude of the album's title remains.
Using a then-new baritone guitar with a broader range than conventional acoustics, and a single, altered tuning, Metheny turns an old pop tune, "Ferry Cross the Mersey," into a subtle ballad, while Keith Jarrett
The closest reference point in Metheny's discography is his 1979 solo album, New Chautauqua (ECM). But with the passing of years and his rapid transcendence from a guitarist of great promise to one of the most influential of the past quarter century, One Quiet Night is a more singular and focused disc, and Metheny's most intimately personal album to date.
Track Listing: One Quiet Night; Song for the Boys; Don't Know Why; Another Chance; Time Goes On; My Song; Peace Memory; Ferry Cross the Mersey; Over on 4th Street; I Will Find the Way; North to South, East to West; Last Train Home; In All We See (bonus track).
Personnel: Pat Metheny: baritone guitar.
Record Label: Nonesuch Records
Style: Fringes of Jazz