An Evening with Pat Metheny
When you’ve been recording as long and often as Pat Metheny, it would be easy to divide your music into various periods. But the multi-Grammy Award winning guitarist, who made this first of nearly 40 recordings as a band leader in 1976, doesn’t see his work that way.
“It all feels like one big story, one long song, one long record, almost like a novel or something that has different chapters but they’re all connected somehow. Playing a tune, even from a really long time ago still feels like the basic arguments that are presented in whatever that tune is asking, still feel valid to me,” Metheny said.
Rather than be on the road playing music from his latest recording, the guitarist and composer is currently in the midst of a year-long tour. He’s revisiting many of his old pieces as well as new works he’s composed over the last year.
Metheny’s stop at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights will be one of about 200 concerts he’s playing as part of the tour, which is billed as “An Evening with Pat Metheny.”
Metheny says when playing that many shows, it’s important to understand something about the creative process of being a jazz musician.
“There’s a lot of mythology that surrounds improvising and this general area of music, which is that every time you walk on a bandstand that you are going to play completely new stuff. As much as it pains me to burst the bubble, it really doesn’t work that way,” he said.
“Each song has a subject, or each evening has a vibe. Each band has a personality. All of these plates are working together to offer you a set of opportunities. Your fluency, talent and ability to talk in musical terms allows you to come up with something you characterize as fresh, which isn’t exactly the same as saying you are going to play something completely different. It’s more a matter of understanding of what’s really going on is that music is an envelope for you to be. It’s the being there, living inside whatever that particular moment is and what makes that moment special that distinguishes somebody who is a singular type of improviser from someone who can just kind of play good,” Metheny said.
Pat Metheny plays Cain Park in Cleveland Heights Tuesday at 8:00 pm.