Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One of My Favorite Jazz Guitarists Is 55 Years Young

Happy birthday to Pat Metheny, who's not only one of my favorite--if not my very favorite--jazz guitarists, but also one of my favorite composers and improvisers as well.

And talk about a guy who's aging well. Can Pat really be 55? He barely looks a day over 40, if that. As I noted at this time five years ago, Pat has the Eternal Youth Gene pretty well locked up:
He's been recording for nearly thirty years, so I guess that adds up, but he just looks so young and his music definitely has this eternally-youthful quality about it. Pat hails from the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri, and a lot of his tunes reflect that typical Midwestern sensibility. If I had to describe it, it would be something like "driving through the cornfield on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the windows down, when all is right with the world." I love the sound he gets on his guitar, and my spirit is buoyed by the sense of optimism reflected in so much of his music.
Five years later, I've got nothing but dittos for what was said above. I've seen one more live performance by Pat in that time, and he continues to awe and inspire.

I'm also intrigued by his upcoming Orchestrion Project that's slated to debut in 2010. As Metheny himself notes, his fairly extensive description of the project on his website yields as many questions as answers, but if I'm interpreting it correctly, he's going to be playing solo concerts on guitar that will trigger a variety of electronic instruments which will give him the power of a full orchestra backing him up.

So once again, happy birthday, Pat! Thank you for all the music, and may there be much more for many years to come.

No comments: